MIAMI -– Here’s a hypothetical for the Giants. They’re driving along and see a couch on the curb. It’s got a rip in the upholstery. There’s an odd stain. A spring is sticking out. Someone left a “free” sign.
And Dan Uggla’s sitting on it.
The Giants haven’t decided whether they’ll stop the car. But I've been told they’re definitely slowing down to take a look.
The Atlanta Braves on Friday released Uggla, who was hitting .162 with two home runs in 130 at-bats. The one-time All-Star second baseman also hit .179 along with 22 home runs last year, so it’s debatable whether he could be an improvement over the Giants’ glaring need at second base.
But the Giants have established a pretty low bar in this area, and we’re not just talking about Pat Burrell and Cody Ross. Just look at last year’s team photo at the White House. Yes, that is Kensuke Tanaka and Jeff Francoeur grinning front and center behind President Obama.
Uggla, 34, is a free roll now that the Braves are responsible for the remainder of his $13 million salary this year and the $15 million he’ll make next year. A club could sign Uggla and pay him just the prorated portion of the major league minimum.
If Uggla doesn’t find a major league club willing to give him a roster spot, the Giants could sign him and assign him to Triple-A Fresno while they evaluate what he has left. Again, though, they haven’t gotten out of the car. They’re merely slowing down at this point.
Marco Scutaro isn’t starting at second base Friday as the Giants begin the unofficial second half at Marlins Park because he has neck stiffness to go along with his back injury, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Bochy was hopeful Scutaro could pinch hit and start on Saturday.
The Giants spent more than 10 hours flying from San Francisco to Miami on Thursday because their flight got diverted to Las Vegas when pitching coach Dave Righetti fell ill, but Scutaro had traveled to his Miami-area home a few days earlier.
As for Angel Pagan, he still hasn’t begun swinging a bat over the All-Star break and Bochy said it’s unlikely he’ll return until August at the earliest. Pagan is being eased back into activities after having an epidural in Los Angeles earlier this month.