What will 32 home runs and 100 RBI get Dan Uggla? He's probably hoping for a multi-year contract extension. For now Uggla will have to settle for a non-monetary reward: Most Valuable Player of the Marlins' 2010 season.
That honor was bestowed on Uggla by members of the Miami chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Uggla is the only second baseman in major league history to pound out at least 30 home runs in four consecutive seasons. In addition to his historic achievement, Uggla is also setting new career standards in batting average, on-base percentage and RBI.
"We're not where we wanted to be with not making the playoffs," Uggla said. "But, as an individual season, it was probably the best season I've had so far. So when you look at it from that standpoint, it's kind of a cool season."
Uggla said he would like to remain a Marlin for years to come. He and the Marlins have discussed a contract extension that would keep him around for the opening of the new ballpark n 2012 and beyond.
"Do I see it getting done anytime soon?" Uggla said of a multi-year contract agreement. "No. But I do feel like there's going to be a really good effort to get something done. They're going to a new balllpark. Everybody knows I'd like to be here to open it up, and they've expressed to me they want me here to open it up, too."
Also receiving year-end honors from the writers are first baseman Gaby Sanchez, reliever Clay Hensley and Marlins Senior Director of Travel Bill Beck.
Sanchez was named the team's Rookie of the Year for his consistently strong play throughout the season. Sanchez was one of the Marlins' top run producers, hitting .299 with runners in scoring position, and leads all NL rookies in RBI and extra-base hits.
"The rookies we have on this team all have shown that they can play at this level," Sanchez said. "You have Lomo (Logan Morrison), who's done outstanding since he got called up. You got (Mike) Stanton, who has the most power I've ever seen in my life from any human being."
Hensley received the Jeff Conine Award given to the Marlin who best embodies the spirit of the game through integrity and selfless play. Hensley earned a job out of spring training and evolved into one of the Marlins' most effective relievers, posting a 2.25 ERA while appearing in a staff-high 65 games.
Beck is this year's recipient of the Charlie Hough "Good Guy Award" that is given to the Marlin who fosters a positive relationship with reporters. Beck, a popular baseball jack-of-all-trades and an integral behind-the-scenes member of the organization, has worked in the game for 42 years and is retiring after 19 seasons with the Marlins.
Previous Marlins award winners:
MVP: Bryan Harvey (1993), Jeff Conine (1994), Jeff Conine (1995), Gary Sheffield (1996), Moises Alou (1997), Cliff Floyd (1998), Luis Castillo (1999), Preston Wilson (2000), Cliff Floyd (2001), Luis Castillo (2002), Juan Pierre (2003), Miguel Cabrera (2004), Dontrelle Willis (2005), Miguel Cabrera (2006), Hanley Ramirez (2007), Hanley Ramirez (2008), Hanley Ramirez (2009).
Rookie: Charles Johnson (1995), Edgar Renteria (1996), Livan Hernandez (1997), Mark Kotsay (1998), Preston Wilson (1999), Chuck Smith (2000), Josh Beckett (2001), Michael Tejera (2002), Dontrelle Willis (2003), Jason Vargas (2005), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Matt Lindstrom (2007), Chris Volstad (2008), Chris Coghlan (2009). (Note: No award was given in 1993, 1994 and 2004).
Good Guy: Charlie Hough (1995), Rene Lachemann (1996), Bobby Bonilla (1997), Rich Donnelly (1998), Mike Redmond (1999), Mike Lowell (2000), Kevin Millar (2001), Andy Fox (2002), Braden Looper (2003), Juan Pierre (2004), Carlos Delgado (2005), Dontrelle Willis (2006), Matt Treanor (2007), Luis Gonzalez (2008), Cody Ross (2009). (Note: No award was given in 1993 and 1994).
Jeff Conine Award: Alfredo Amezaga (2008), Wes Helms (2009).