Marlins' second baseman Dan Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million extension last week, and even though it's not headlining news, it's making the MLB hot stove a few degrees warmer.
Although he's still under contract for 2011, the slugger makes an intriguing option at Boston's vacant hot corner, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
While most Sox hot stovers are gushing over the thought of Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth inked into Terry Francona's lineup next summer, Uggla may prove to be a cheaper option with equal offensive potential. Plus, there's a significant hole in the infield, whereas the outfield is locked down by Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew.
Uggla is seen as a player who can make the transition to either third base or left field, despite having played second base in all 765 MLB contests he's started in five seasons with the Fish.
At the dish, he's belting about 30 homers ad 100 RBIs per season. Last year, he became just the second second baseman in MLB history to have four 30-homer seasons. He finished 2010 with 33 homers, 105 RBIs, an .877 OPS and a .287 batting average — all of which career-highs.
It obviously won't be easy to acquire Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez this offseason and assuming the Sox are out of the Adrian Beltre sweepstakes even before entering, the team will be without a third baseman come spring training if they don't make a move.
The Sox could, of course, hang onto prospects and take a shot at the free agent pool filled with the likes of Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Derek Lee, Aubry Huff and Carlos Pena.
Trading for Uggla and keeping Youk at first may not sound like the most exciting idea in such a highly anticipated offseason, but it could be the only option should they miss out on big names.