11/11/10 8:20 PM EST
Uggla wants to keep his talents in South Beach
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Uggla made it clear on Thursday, during a conference call after he won his first Silver Slugger Award, that his preference is to remain a Marlin.
"I just want everybody to hear it from me. I want to stay in Florida," the power-hitting second baseman said. "This has been a negotiation, this is what happens in negotiations. You turn down deals and counter deals."
The Marlins have been in negotiations with Uggla's agent, Terry Bross of Gaylord Sports Management, since July. It was reported late Sunday night that discussions had broken down.
Uggla emphatically stated that he is not looking to leave Florida.
"Now, my team [Bross], we are still wanting to negotiate. It has been the Marlins' choice to stop negotiations," Uggla said. "They have chosen to stop negotiations. But me and my team are still open to negotiate and getting something done."
In 2010, Uggla earned $7.8 million during a season in which he belted 33 home runs and drove in 105 runs.
He has one more year of being arbitration eligible, so the Marlins could decide to sign him for 2011 if a multi-year contract isn't reached. However, if a long-term contract isn't reached, there is a strong possibility the team will entertain trade offers.
Before reaching that point, there is still plenty of time to reach an agreement.
"I'd like to say it's bridgeable in my eyes," Uggla said of the gap in the talks. "I can't say if it's bridgeable or not in their eyes. But in my eyes, I think we can close the gap on this thing. That's me talking. I don't know how they feel."
Whether it would take more money or a fifth year to get a deal done is not known, because Uggla didn't get into specifics.
"I'm not going to get into the details of all [the] discussions," he said. "I like to keep all of that private. I'm not sure how all of that got leaked, even the four-year deal, how it got leaked to the media. I just want it to be known that I do want to stay in Florida. We are still wanting to get something done. That's where we stand."
Uggla did note that he was happy the Marlins are bringing back manager Edwin Rodriguez, and that the organization has hired infield coach Perry Hill.
Hill was on the Florida staff during Uggla's rookie season in 2006.
"I was extremely happy to hear about Edwin coming back," Uggla said. "I totally agree with that. The Marlins did a great job analyzing the situation, and knowing how much each and every one of us love Edwin and want to play for him."
Hill was with the Marlins from 2002-06, before leaving for personal reasons.
"Anytime you have [Hill] on your staff, it's definitely a positive," Uggla said. "He's the best of the best. I was sad to see him go a few years ago. But I'm extremely happy to see him back."
During the playoffs, Uggla was happy to see his close friend and former teammate, Cody Ross, win a World Series title with the Giants.
"If I'm not going to be playing in it, then he is the person I'd want to watch playing in the World Series," Uggla said. "Obviously, he is one of my very best friends, not just in baseball, but in life. To watch him and see what he did, I couldn't have been more happy for anybody."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.