Giants offered to match $21 million deal before Juan Uribe signed with Dodgers

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Juan Uribe’s three-year, $21 million contract with the Dodgers strikes me as a significant over-pay for a 31-year-old with a career on-base percentage of .300 who’s cracked a .750 OPS once since 2004, but according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times the Giants offered to match that deal in an unsuccessful last-minute effort to keep Uribe.

Uribe explained yesterday that the Dodgers expressing immediate and consistent interest in him following the World Series played a big part in his decision, saying that the courting process “made me very emotional” and “very proud.”

There have been some conflicting reports about the exact value of the Giants’ final offer to Uribe, but most sources seem to agree that San Francisco offered at least $20 million for three seasons and may have upped that to $21 million just before he signed with Los Angeles. Ultimately the Giants are probably better off for not re-signing Uribe at that price, although replacing him with Miguel Tejada for $6.5 million in 2011 may turn out to be a mistake in itself.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that “the Giants will sacrifice some defense at shortstop for more offense” in turning to Tejada. That’s half true, because Tejada’s range at age 37 is severely lacking, but the “more offense” part is questionable at best. Tejada hit .269 with a .692 OPS in 156 games between the Orioles and Padres, which is actually even worse than Uribe’s modest career marks and significantly below the production Uribe provided in 2010.

More likely is that in signing Tejada the Giants are really sacrificing defense and offense for veteran-ness.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.