Uribe had been holding out for three years. As the best free agent third baseman, he would have been foolish not to. He drew alleged interest from the Marlins, Rays and White Sox.
I'm disappointed because I was hoping for an upgrade at the position -- or at least someone with the potential to be an upgrade. Uribe is a great defensive third baseman, but it remains to be seen if he can duplicate (or come close to) the offensive numbers he posted in 2013. I also acknowledge I shouldn't be disappointed in this signing, but the offseason just got a lot less interesting for the Dodgers. Again, that should be a good thing, but I guess I'm just craving some kind of acquisition to get my transaction fix.
It isn't terribly hard to hit .278/.331/.438 these days -- and I'd take that from Uribe. But the first two years of his 3-year deal were absolute garbage. Uribe was a .199/.262/.289 hitting in 2011-12, prompting the Dodgers to go with Luis Cruz for the last couple months of 2012 and the first six weeks of 2013.
Quality third baseman just aren't readily available in baseball these days, as evidenced by this offseason and the Dodgers' inability to fill the position post-Adrian Beltre. To get Uribe at two years isn't the worst thing in the world.
Now, Uribe won't play 162 games. Hell, he will probably struggle to make it to 140. So, a left-handed complement could be in order. I pegged Eric Chavez as that guy in my offseason plan. He's about the only guy on the open market worth a flyer. At last check, the Dodgers aren't interested in him. That could change, as the offseason has been held up in some part due to the Uribe situation.
This move also, in my eyes, renders Corey Seager untradeable. Seager should be ready for full-time duty in two years -- be it at shortstop or third base -- just as Uribe ends his deal. If the Dodgers trade Seager for anyone who isn't a long-term third baseman (or shortstop), they'll be in this exact position in two years. If they were to acquire a bonafide offensive superstar, that might be the only other situation in which it makes sense to trade Seager.
This assures another two years of #Uribear, which is just fine with me. One of the best hashtags after (right after #fuente).
I never thought I would grow to like Uribe, but his solid play in 2013 and his great clubhouse presence is worth the 2-year deal alone. The financials aren't out yet, but I'd be shocked if he got more than $20 million. It's a bit high, but it's also an easy price to pay considering the alternative.
After all, Michael Young could have been the Dodgers' starting third baseman in 2014. Just think about that for a second and try to go on with your day.
Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue