A couple very interesting news items from the Braves this morning:
First, the Tim Hudson extension is official. It's a three-year deal with a fourth-year option, which is believed to be worth about $27 million total. EDIT: O'Brien says the deal is worth $28 million total, with a $9 million salary for each 2010, 2011, and 2012, plus a $1 million buyout of a $9 million club option for 2013. It's a great deal for the Braves, and I'm delighted to know that Hudson will be a rotation stalwart through at least 2012, especially at this price.
Also, perhaps even more intriguing (since we already knew the Hudson deal was all but done), David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tosses us a note: "Don’t dismiss that [Dan] Uggla-to-left-field rumor. It’s a legit possibility." He goes on to say that Florida could be interested in Kelly Johnson, especially given Fredi Gonzalez's familiarity with KJ from his time in Atlanta. Uggla has two more years of arbitration control left, and he will earn about $20 million over that time. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has an interesting take on Uggla's value, and it bears worth remembering that while Uggla is a great power hitter if he plays second base, his .459 slugging percentage and .814 OPS from last year don't look so great in left field, when you consider that the average ML left fielder slugged .440. He's already entering his age-30 season as well. I'd much rather see Uggla try his hand at the hot corner with Chipper Jones moving across to first base, leaving left field open for another acquisition, but the sky will surely fall before that happens. Or why not try Uggla at first base?
I'm not saying Uggla isn't a solid trade target, but I'm also not so sure he's the solution to all our offensive woes. Wren will need to be careful to conserve enough resources to also get a second bat to support the lineup should he decide to get Uggla and stick him out in left field.
Finally, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com pass on five names they think the Braves will pursue. Byrd and Nady are no more than fourth outfielders in my view, but I like the last three names on that list. Cameron is still a truly elite center field defender with enough bat to still be interesting, and he's a Georgia native who apparently "wants to play in Atlanta." And DeJesus is another guy who plays excellent defense and can hit a lick. Give me two of those three, and Wren might just have an offense on his hands.