Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Marlins have traded second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Omar Infante and left-handed pitcher Mike Dunn. Uggla, who reportedly turned down a four-year extension offer from the Marlins earlier this offseason, batted .287 with 33 home runs and 105 RBI in 2010. Each of those statistics represented a career high for the University of Memphis alum. Uggla ranks four among MLB players born in Kentucky with 154 career home runs and has slugged at least 30 home runs in four of five MLB seasons.
On the same day the Marlins traded one player with Kentucky connections the team acquired another in Lexington Legends Hall of Famer John Buck. The 2010 All-Star catcher for the Blue Jays signed a three-year contract worth $18 million with the Marlins, Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report. During the Legends’ inaugural season in 2001, Buck batted .275 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 122 games. (Read more)
Corey Hart; Photo by Steve Paluch via Flickr
Bowling Green native and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart was selected to his second All-Star team Sunday by being named a reserve for the National League squad. Hart is batting .286 with a league-leading 18 home runs. The Greenwood High School alum has already driven in 60 runs this season and boasts a .350 on-base percentage and .564 slugging percentage. Hart was also named a NL All-Star in 2008.
Former Lexington Legend and Toronto Blue Jays catcher John Buck was also named an All-Star as an American League reserve. Buck is batting .271 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI. The Lexington Legends Hall of Famer batted .275 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI during the Legends’ inaugural season in 2001. (AL Roster) (NL Roster)
The three-team multiple Cy Young winner blockbuster trade is official, and UK alum Joe Blanton is still a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Blanton appears likely to start the season in Philadelphia since the team parted with Lee, but due to his impending salary raise his status remains worth watching. Now that the baseball world can move past the trade here are some Bluegrass storylines to keep track of:
- Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald passes on a few of the names in the Giants and Marlins Dan Uggla discussions. The most interesting: left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.
- With the number of available second baseman this offseason, someone like Uggla will probably have to move positions, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.com writes.
- Brady Williams was named the 2010 manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods by the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Michael Grant of The Courier-Journal talks to St. X-alum Chris Burke about the opportunity to play for the Reds or his hometown Louisville Bats.
- You can see Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talk about the blockbuster trade and his recent signing of Lexington Legends Hall of Famer John Buck in a video via MLB.com here.
John Buck; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Lexington Legends Hall of Fame catcher John Buck wasn’t unemployed for long. One day after being non-tendered by the Kansas City Royals, Buck signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com first reported the signing. Buck hit .247 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 59 games for the Royals in 2009. In six years, Buck has hit .235 with 70 home runs and 259 RBI.
During the inaugural 2001 Lexington Legends season, Buck led the team to the South Atlantic League championship after batting .275 with 22 home runs and 73 RBI.
John Buck; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The deadline for Major League Baseball teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is tonight at midnight. Many of the eligible players will be tendered a contract, but those who don’t will become free agents. One player with Kentucky connections who is virtually guaranteed to be non-tendered today is Lexington Legends Hall of Famer John Buck. Buck was the catcher on the inaugural Legends team and has spent his first six professional seasons with the Kansas City Royals. The Royals signed veteran catcher Jason Kendall Friday to take Buck’s starting spot.
You can see the arbitration-elgible Kentucky alumni here.
Corey Hart; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
We broke down the free agents with Kentucky ties earlier this month, but now I thought we’d look at the arbitration eligible players. Players with three to six years of service time, or designated as “super twos,” are eligible for a salary raise through arbitration. Teams then chose whether to offer these players a contract for the coming season, though the salary generally can’t be less than 80 percent of the previous year’s salary. Some players receive huge raises in arbitration leading smaller market teams to trade them. So if you’re looking for trade candidates or non-tender candidates this is a good place to start.
- RHP Joe Blanton — UK — Philadelphia Phillies
- C John Buck — Lexington Legends — Kansas City Royals
- RHP Jared Burton — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- RHP Todd Coffey — Louisville Bats — Milwaukee Brewers
- OF Corey Hart — Bowling Green, Ky. — Milwaukee Brewers
- OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- RHP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
Here’s the full arbitration list on MLB.com.
Lots of major league storylines in today’s links. Here’s some morning reading for you before a day full of college football:
- UK alum Joe Blanton finished the season 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA after a loss to the Marlins.
- 2009 Bat Justin Lehr finished his major league season 5-3 with a 5.37 ERA after a loss to the Pirates.
- Jason Grey of ESPN.com calls Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds the biggest 2009 fantasy baseball surprise. Ashland-native Brandon Webb was named the most crushing fantasy injury of the season.
- In the SAL league prospects chat (subscriber only), Baseball America touches of UofL alum B. J. Rosenberg, Legend Ross Seaton and Hot Rod Tim Beckham.
- The Kansas City Star reports the Royals might look to move original Lexington Legend John Buck this offseason.
While there may be a sporting event Bluegrass fans are more concerned with today here’s some storylines to get you through till kickoff.
- Keith Glab of the Kentucky Sports Report says the Diamondbacks should bring back Brandon Webb. (subscriber only)
- 2009 Bat Juan Francisco hit his first major league home run in Cincinnati’s 4-3 loss to Florida.
- Mark Reynolds BluGrass Home Run Watch: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB
- Lexington Legend alum, and member of the inaugural team, John Buck hit his eighth home run of the season for Kansas City.
Sunday was a busy day on the diamond for BluGrass Baseball players in both the majors and minor leagues. With those storylines and more here are the morning links for your “case of the Mondays.”
- Louisville batted around twice en route to defeating Charlotte 8-5 and snapping its three-game losing streak.
- The Hot Rods lost 3-1 to Savannah in a rain-shortened game.
- The Legends’ game with Charleston was rained out.
- Michael Grant at the Courier-Journal profiles former Louisville Redbird and Bat Aaron Holbert’s quest to become a major league manager.
- Nathan Adcock picked up the win in his first appearance for high A Lynchburg.
- Former Lexington Legend John Buck broke up James Shields’ no-hitter in the seventh inning before the Royals rallied to defeat the Rays Sunday. Former Legend Ben Zobrist also homered in the game.
- Former Legend Bud Norris pitched seven shutout innings against the Cardinals to earn the win in his first major-league start.
- Louisville native and BluGrass Baseball All-Time Team member Dan Uggla homered in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game against the Cubs before teammate Cody Ross launched his own home run to give Florida the win.