Marlins' Dan Uggla awarded $5.35M in arbitration case
By By Juan C. Rodriguez | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
4:45 PM EST, February 12, 2009
PHOENIX - It doesn't qualify as historic, but as far as raises go it's not bad.
Second baseman Dan Uggla learned he won his arbitration case Thursday, securing a $5.35 million salary for 2009 instead of the $4.4 million the Marlins hoped to pay him. In becoming the team's second-highest paid player behind Hanley Ramirez ($5.5 million), Uggla's salary skyrocketed from the $417,000 he earned last season.
The $4.933 million bump is among the highest ever for a player making the first-time leap from a six- to a seven-figure salary. The only ones to receive greater increases: Ryan Howard ($9.1 million), Miguel Cabrera ($6.928 million), Albert Pujols ($6.1 million), Prince Fielder ($5.83 million), Jonathan Papelbon ($5.425 million), Ramirez ($5.063 million) and Bobby Jenks ($5.05 million).
"We felt pretty good about case," said Jeff Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Uggla's agent. "Daniel over the last three years gave us quite a bit to work with."
A two-time All-Star, Uggla last season established career highs with 32 homers and 92 RBI. Since his 2006 rookie season, no other second baseman has put more pitches in the seats than Uggla, who with 90 homers has three more than Phillies counterpart Chase Utley over that span.
Uggla was the last of 17 Marlins that began the offseason eligible for arbitration. He also was the only one who did not settle before figures were exchanged last month. Since this front office took over in 2002, the Marlins are 3-3 in arbitration hearings.
"It's always a rough process because the team always has to denigrate the player," Borris said. "You never like being in that situation and always try to settle cases whenever you can. Sometimes there are situations where the sides get cemented in their positions and they have no other choice but to go to a hearing."
With Uggla's outlay now determined, the Marlins have 13 players locked in at $28.36 million. The remainder of the 25-man roster will earn at or near the $400,000 league minimum, meaning Uggla and Ramirez will account for almost one-third of the Opening Day payroll