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Atlanta Braves Acquire Dan Uggla, John Mozeliak Says, "Who?"

It might just be that the Florida Marlins are overvaluing Omar Infante, whose recent flirtation with the batting title seems unlikely to be repeated, but I have to hope, for my own sake, that the St. Louis Cardinals at least briefly considered going after Dan Uggla, traded this afternoon to the Atlanta Braves for Infante and nice-but-replaceable left-handed reliever Mike Dunn. 

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Uggla is a butcher on defense, to be sure, but the Cardinals and their ground-ball staff are apparently perfectly happy with converted left fielder at their backs, and Uggla makes up for his ponderous defense with a career OPS+ of 117—he's hit 154 home runs since showing up out of nowhere as a Rule 5 pick in 2006, something only Alex Rodriguez (184) has bested among non-first-basemen (and Adam Dunn, who is the wrong kind of non-first-baseman.) 

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Uggla isn't actually a star, or at least a reliable one, and some team will probably make a mistake in free agency if he has another big year for the Braves. But for the price of Omar Infante and what the Cardinals paid Brad Penny last year they could have made a decisive upgrade in the middle infield the year before Albert Pujols puts a long-term crimp in their payroll flexibility. It would have been nice to see it.

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