According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the Dodgers are “closing in on a three-year deal” with Juan Uribe and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the contract is worth $21 million, which is remarkable for someone who had to settle for a minor-league contract in 2009 and then returned to the Giants on a one-year, $3.25 million deal this season.
Uribe didn’t have a particularly impressive season, hitting his usual .250 with a terrible on-base percentage and 20-homer power, but a player contributing a couple key hits on a World Series winner can make general managers do funny things.
He hit .266 with a .781 OPS in two seasons with the Giants, but prior to that he had a .718 career OPS that included a ghastly .295 on-base percentage.
Uribe is perhaps the heftiest shortstop in baseball history, but presumably the Dodgers plan to use him primarily at second base with Rafael Furcal around. That would mean not worrying so much about his glove declining during a contract that runs through his age-33 season–and could lead to the Dodgers non-tendering Ryan Theriot, which would be a good move–but Uribe’s bat is nothing special for a second baseman. His career OPS is essentially average for the position.
There’s a very good chance Ned Colletti and the Dodgers will regret this move.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.