Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dodgers need to rid themselves of Juan Uribe as soon as possible

It's no secret I've been against the Juan Uribe deal since he signed with the team two winters ago. I'm not usually in the business of saying "I told you so," but, well, it's quite fitting at this time.

Uribe is mired in a miserable slump (yes, even more miserable than his Dodger career totals). Since rejoining the team from injury on June 11, he's 5-for-49 with three doubles, two runs scored three walks and 15 strikeouts. Even worse, he's on an 0-for-25 streak right now.

When the Dodgers signed him, Uribe was coming off a big postseason with the Giants. Well, that's what Ned Colletti would tell you. In reality, he went 7-for-47 with two home runs and eight RBI. Unfortunately, those two home runs came at "clutch" times, thus leading people to believe Uribe was some kind of postseason hero.

He's actually one of the worst players in baseball and the Dodgers just need to cut their losses short with him.

There are two things keeping him around right now: his defensive ability (which isn't exactly Adrian Beltre-esque no matter what his 21.2 UZR says) and the fact the Dodgers have zero third base depth in the minors. Why do you think guys like Elian Herrera and Luis Cruz have even seen time in the majors this season?

The Dodgers drafted Corey Seager to be the eventual long-term third baseman, but he won't be ready for at least three years -- and that's being extremely optimistic. Other than that, guys like Josh Fields (not a prospect), Jake Lemmerman (more of a utility/middle infielder) and Pedro Baez (can't hit) are the next guys in line and they're not exactly realistic options.

But as for right now, the Dodgers are better off playing Jerry Hairston at third base the majority of the time. But since he's not an every day player, playing career minor-leaguers like Herrera and Cruz (and maybe even Adam Kennedy) are better options than Uribe. He's a black hole at the plate and has no business being on a Major League roster right now.

The Dodgers -- mainly Colletti -- have a really hard time known when to cut bait. If there was ever a time he was going to own up to his mistake, this would be the time. The fact that guys like Mike Petriello, Eric Stephen and Jon Weisman are saying there's a chance Uribe could be designated for assignment means there's some hope.

If the Dodgers sack up and actually DFA Uribe, they won't stick with the trio Herrera, Cruz and Kennedy for long. My expectation is they would step up trade efforts for a third baseman, particularly guys like Chase Headley or Jed Lowrie (who plays short but could slide over to third).

First thing's first, though: time to trim the excess fat (pun intended).

Minor league moves

The Dodgers made a number of minor league moves this week. Here are some of the more notable ones:
  • Seager was assigned to Ogden and has already played in a couple games
  • Steven Rodriguez was signed and went straight to Great Lakes
  • Angelo Songco was promoted from Great Lakes to Rancho Cucamonga
  • Darnell Sweeney was promoted to Great Lakes from Ogden to take Songco's spot
Seager beginning in Ogden is no surprise. He'll finish his first professional season there.

Rodriguez, the Dodgers' second-round pick, going to Great Lakes doesn't surprise me, but him signing for slot ($610,800) surprises me. That means the Dodgers will have to pay a luxury tax which comes in a little less than $75,000. The expectation was the Dodgers could get Rodriguez signed cheaper than slot to offer Seager a little more to forgo his commitment to South Carolina and because Rodriguez was overdrafted a bit.

Songco was rehabbing at Great Lakes and actually struggled a bit: .175/.281/.367 with six home runs. The home runs and walks were nice, but the .175 batting average was not -- especially since he played in the league a couple years ago. No clue how long he'll be in Rancho, but I'd like to see him in Chattanooga before the season ends.

Sweeney, the Dodgers' 13th-round draft pick, had a solid triple slash in 16 games: .303/.380/.379 for a glove-first shortstop. Drawing nine walks (against eight strikeouts) and stealing 10 bases were both positives for a 21-year-old fresh out of college.

Photo credit: SD Dirk, Flickr


  1. Uribe has lost his bat speed and that is all he had in the past. Dump the loser fast.

  2. I like Headley, not as keen on Lowrie, but Headley is not a David Wright. He is a definite upgrade for us and a good average player. It would be nice to not have him beat us up every time he plays us. Lowrie's power is a career year thing.

    I expect the Padres will want a big chunk of the farm for Headley. I'm thinking Aramis Ramirez might be in the mix for us. He would be a good season and a half third baseman but not a building block due to his age. I think he would come more cheaply than Headley.

    Have you discounted Alex Santana as a 3B prospect? He turns 19 in August and has had a good start with the Raptors.