According to a release from the Atlanta Braves, the team has agreed to terms with second baseman Dan Uggla on a five-year contract through the 2015 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. Details of the contract were not disclosed.
Uggla was acquired by the Braves from the Florida Marlins in a three-player trade on November 16, 2010, as the Braves sent left-handed pitcher Mike Dunn and infielder Omar Infante to Florida.
Uggla, 30, is coming off the finest offensive season of his career in 2010, as he established career highs in batting average (.287), home runs (33) and RBIs (105) and earned his first career Silver Slugger award. He ranked fifth the National League in both home runs and RBIs.
“When we traded for Dan back in November our goal was to work out a long-term contract with him,” Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. “He is an important part of our team and he gives us the consistent right-handed power we have been looking to add to the middle of our lineup for several years.”
A two-time All-Star, Uggla has averaged 31 home runs, 100 runs scored and 93 RBIs per season over his five-year career. He has never been placed on the disabled list and has posted an average of 155 games played per season.
Since he broke in with the Marlins in 2006, Uggla leads all Major League second basemen in home runs. He ranks 13th on the all-time career home run list for second basemen.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Uggla is the only player in Major League history whose primary position was second base to begin his career with five consecutive seasons of 20 or more homers (he has hit at least 30 in each of the last four seasons).
Uggla began his career in the Arizona Diamondbacks system in 2001 and was selected by the Marlins in the December 2005 Rule 5 Draft. He finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2006, when he hit .282 with 27 homers and 90 RBIs.
In 776 career games, Uggla has hit .263 with 336 extra-base hits, including 154 home runs, and 465 RBIs. In 45 career games at Turner Field he has hit .354 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs.
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.