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Some Thoughts on Uggla, Tejada, Doubles, Hill

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I don't have time to write up anything too long today, but I'll slap some tidbits together during the less busy parts of my day here at the office. I'll try to get up some more daily stuff soon- the internship/classwork combo does a very good job of taking up lots of my time.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins and second baseman Dan Uggla aren't exactly close to an extension. Uggla is pursuing a five-year deal worth roughly $58 million, while the Marlins appear to be countering with a deal in the three-year, $24 million range.

Obviously Uggla would have to be nuts to take that kind of offer, I'd argue that the Marlins are actually low-balling one of their best players if this report is accurate. The 30-year-old has averaged 3.7 WAR per season over the past five years, and he's having arguably the best season of his career this year. Uggla is likely to make around $10 million in arbitration next season, so the Marlins essentially offered him a two-year extension worth $14 million on top of what he'll make in 2011 anyways. Uggla should be in line for a pretty large deal after the 2011 season when he hits free agency, so the Marlins might actually be better off trading Uggla if that's all they're going to offer him. He's a lock to leave next winter if Florida won't commit anywhere near market value.

Aaron Hill has been getting screwed pretty much all season.

If you looked only at the Toronto second baseman's strikeout, walk and power numbers, you'd think he's having another very strong season:

2009: 5.7% walk rate, 14.4% strikeout rate, .213 isolated power, .357 wOBA

2010: 7.0% walk rate, 15.0% strikeout rate, .191 isolated power, .295 wOBA

The difference? His BABIP has dropped from .288 to an unthinkably low .199 this season. The power is still there, he's actually swinging and missing less, and he's walking more. But he's gone from one of the best offensive second baseman in baseball to one of the worst, and the obvious culprit is the drop in his BABIP. His xBABIP is understandably low at .279 given the ugly line drive rate, but obviously even his batted ball data doesn't support a BABIP close to .200. Look for Hill to bounce back in a big way next season, unless he like beat up a leprechaun or something. In that case, his nasty luck would seem to be entirely appropriate.

Miguel Tejada is batting .263/.314/.426 with 7 homers in 47 games with San Diego, while primarily playing shortstop. He's already put up 1.5 WAR.

I just thought this was worth touching on. The Padres basically had a revolving door at shortstop for most of the season, with Jerry Hairston Jr., Everth Cabrera and the occasional Lance Zawadzki appearance making up the team's contributors at the position. But after trading right-hander Wynn Pelzer to Baltimore for Tejada and moving him back to shortstop, he only played third in his time in Baltimore, they've gotten some nice improvement from that spot. We haven't seen this kind of power and patience from Tejada since 2007, so the Padres really couldn't ask for him to do much more than he's already done. The 36-year-old has 13 walks and 7 homers in 47 games with the Padres in 2010- last season with Houston he walked 19 times and hit 14 homers in 158 games.

ZiPS projects Evan Longoria, Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre to tie for the MLB lead in doubles with 48. And yes, that figure does seem rather low.

For those of you wondering at home, this would mark the first time since 1992 that we haven't seen at least one MLB player hit 50 or more doubles in a full season (although nobody hit 50+ doubles in the strike-shortened 1994 season, either). Although multiple players would've absolutely gotten to 50 doubles in 1994 had the season been completed; Chuck Knoublauch, Craig Biggio and Larry Walker all had 44+ doubles when the season concluded. Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez led the majors in doubles in 1992, with each tossing out 46 apiece.