Juan Uribe “closing in on a three-year deal” with the Dodgers

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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.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.