Dan Uggla is proving the Marlins right.

Never mind the 29-game hitting streak.

He isn't worth the five-year, $62 million contract he signed with Atlanta when traded from Florida last autumn for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.

That doesn't mean the Marlins are a better team without Uggla, because they aren't. It just means Florida's bosses - my hand is raised for having been wrong about this - made the correct economic call on the deal.

They weren't being short-sighted cheapskates, but responsibly frugal regarding a player who's 31 years old. They couldn't afford to do what Atlanta did.

The Marlins miss Uggla's power and his accountability-matters clubhouse personality. But they decided they couldn't afford Uggla at the price of the long-term agreement he wanted (Florida's offer of $48 million across four years wasn't good enough.)

The Marlins replaced a poor-fielding second baseman with a defensive stopper at the position in Infante, bolstered their bullpen with the left-handed Dunn and used some Uggla-saved money to sign catcher John Buck in free agency.

Not a bad return.

Uggla spent five seasons with Florida, and was a consistent slugger. He was a 30-plus homer, 90-plus RBI machine with a .260-plus career average.

Good stuff.


Uggla, who extended his career-best hitting streak with an infield single in the fifth inning Monday night against the Marlins in Sun Life Stadium, still has just a .218 average after enduring an atrocious start to the season.

Oh, sure, he's on pace for another 30-home run season, but that's easily the best of what Uggla has provided.

"It had to happen sooner or later," Uggla said of having come out of his prolonged slump. "You've seen me play the last five years."

But the contract wasn't about the past five years; it was about a piece of the future the Marlins weren't willing to mortgage.

Uggla still makes Atlanta better than Infante and Dunn in combination make the Marlins, but not appreciably so. In fact, it's difficult to imagine either team being much won-lost different than it is right now were the trade never consummated.