NL East Report – Lunatic Fringe

An article by posted on January 6, 2011

Braves

Second baseman Dan Uggla agreed to a five-year contract that will keep him with the Atlanta Braves through the 2015 season. Atlanta said a long-term deal with the two-time All-Star had been their goal since they acquired him in a trade with Florida in November. A report on MLB’s website said the deal was worth $62 million. Uggla hit .287 with 33 home runs and 105 RBI for the Marlins in 2010, ranking him fifth in the National League for homers and RBI.

Braves prospect Craig Kimbrel is confident that he can be the closer for the Braves next season. “There was never really a point last year where I didn’t think I could do it,” said Kimbrel. Last season he posted a 0.44 ERA and struck out 40 batters in 20 2/3 innings with the Braves.

The Braves now have four remaining arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man roster who are unsigned for the upcoming season: infielder Martin Prado, right-handed pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Peter Moylan and left-handed pitcher Eric O’Flaherty.

Marlins

Not much going on with the Marlins since they signed RHP Ricky Nolasco to a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension two weeks ago. Early this week Nolasco said he feels great and is looking forward to spring training and the 2011 season. The right-hander finished with a 4.51 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over 26 starts this past year, striking out 147 batters in 157 2/3 innings.

The Marlins have four players — all pitchers – eligible for arbitration: Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez, Clay Hensley and Edward Mujica.

Nationals

The Nationals are no longer pursuing free agent pitcher Carl Pavano. They have shifted their interest to Jeff Francis who the Mets also like.

Free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche has agreed to a two-year contract with the Nationals worth a guaranteed $16 million. According to the reports, LaRoche will make $7 million in 2011 and $8 million in 2012, and the club has a $10 million option for 2013 with a $1 million buyout. LaRoche, 31, hit .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. In his eight-year career, mostly with the Braves and Pirates, he has hit .271/.339./488 with an average of 26 home runs and 93 RBIs per season.

Chien-Ming Wang said his New Year’s resolution is to return to the majors by May. The Nats decided to gamble on him making it back and so far so good. A Nats official said Wang’s stuff looked “filthy” in the instructional league. 

Yunesky Maya posted a 1.32 ERA over eight starts in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. Maya also had a .193 opponents’ batting average and a spectacular 42/9 K/BB ratio in 41 innings. He may finds his way onto the Opening Day rotation if all goes well during the spring.

The Nationals have three players eligible for arbitration: Starter John Lannan, outfielder Michael Morse and reliever Doug Slaten.

Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies made it official on Thursday and agreed to terms on a one-year deal with relief pitcher J.C. Romero. The contract is worth $1.35 million plus performance incentives. Romero went 1-0 with a 3.68 earned run average in 60 appearances last season.

Phillies signed INF-OF Delwyn Young to a minor league contract. He’ll receive an invite to major league spring training as part of the deal. Young, 28, batted .236/.286/.414 with seven home runs and 28 RB for the Pirates last season.

The Phillies have two players eligible for arbitration: Starter Kyle Kendrick and outfielder Ben Francisco. 

Shea Stadium Anthems

Here is a video from one of those anthems I heard regularly blaring through the Shea Stadium sound system while sitting in the upper deck.  This one is from Red Rider.

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