The Dodgers are flush with cash, but it can’t buy them everything. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the team is considering bringing back free agent Michael Young as their starting third baseman.
As Olney explains, the reason for this is because the Dodgers “believe increasingly” that free agent Juan Uribe could be headed elsewhere. Reports have linked him to the Marlins and White Sox in recent days. He was also mentioned as a possible first base option for the Rays, but that’s likely out now that the club has re-signed James Loney. It’s hard to believe that the Dodgers are actually serious about going with Young at third base, so perhaps this is a case of them leaking something to the media in hopes that it will get Uribe to make a decision. Otherwise, yikes.
Young, 37, hit .279/.335/.395 with eight home runs and 46 RBI over 565 plate appearances last season between the Phillies and Dodgers. He mostly played third base during his time with Philadelphia and defensive metrics weren’t very kind to him. Or the naked eye, for that matter. If Uribe signs elsewhere, the Dodgers could be better off moving Hanley Ramirez back to third base and signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop. However, there’s nothing to indicate that they are open to doing that.
UPDATE: Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com today that he is still hopeful of re-signing Uribe.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.