Fortunately for Dodgers fans, the idea of the team using Michael Young as their starting third baseman in 2014 was short-lived.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Juan Uribe have reached agreement on a two-year deal to keep him in Los Angeles. No word yet on the terms involved.
Such a scenario would have been considered a longshot back in March, as Uribe contributed very little in the first two years of his three-year, $21 million deal with the Dodgers, but he came out of nowhere in 2013 with the best season of his career. The 34-year-old hit .278/.331/.438 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI over 132 games while playing excellent defense at third base. Well-liked in the clubhouse, Uribe also came up big during the postseason, including a go-ahead homer during the NLDS against the Braves that pushed the Dodgers to the NLCS.
The Marlins, White Sox and Rays were among the other teams who reportedly showed interest in Uribe this winter. The Dodgers were said to be considering Young as an alternative at third base if Uribe signed elsewhere, but they were able to convince him to stick around.
UPDATE: Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register confirms the report and adds that it’s worth around $15 million. The Dodgers were originally offering one year with an option, but pushed it to two years to get the deal done. .
1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.
Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:
“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’
Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.
I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.
The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.
Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.
Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:
It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”
At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.
I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .