Juan Uribe was a disaster over his first two years with the Dodgers, but he provided a surprising bounce-back this past season by hitting .278/.331/.438 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI while playing excellent defense at third base. The 34-year-old also had some key hits during the postseason, including a go-ahead homer during the NLDS against the Braves which sent the Dodgers to the NLCS. Now he’s looking to cash in on his success.
Uribe’s agents were able to get Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti to fork over a three-year, $21 million deal last time, so can’t blame them for trying. The Dodgers don’t have an obvious alternative at third base and Uribe is well-liked in the clubhouse, so unless someone jumps at his lofty demands, a return sounds pretty realistic.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.