The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly filled one of their holes this afternoon by agreeing to a two-year deal with third baseman Juan Uribe. In recent days, it wasn’t known what other teams were interested in the 34-year-old infielder as the Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays expressed some sort of interest.
However, with the infield shored up, Colletti and company now have to focus on the bullpen as they’d like to add three more relievers. Another Dodgers free agent, J.P Howell is the preferred option to return as a left-handed reliever, but talking to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, it doesn’t sound good:
Colletti said he is relatively confident he will come up with a solid right-handed reliever for his open spot in the middle innings but a little less confident of finding a left-handed reliever.
Earlier this week, it was reported the Dodgers wanted to add another reliever with closer experience to pitch in middle relief, but retaining Howell has been an off-season priority. With left-handed reliever Javier Lopez and Boone Logan receiving three-year deals from the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies respectively, Howell is reportedly looking for the same.
In 2013, the 30-year-old reliever went 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in Dodger Blue, but by the end of the season, he was the primary lefty with Paco Rodriguez wearing down. If the Dodgers are unwilling to shell out a three-year deal, other options could be Scott Downs or Mike Gonzalez on a one-year deal.
Onelki Garcia could also be an in-house option as another left-handed reliever, but its’ who they sign in middle relief that’ll be interesting. Right-handed relievers John Axford, Grant Balfour and Fernando Rodney all have closing experience and fits the “high profile” billing they’ve been interested in.
While there were doubts about re-signing Uribe, hopefully the Dodgers and Howell can reach a middle ground while also signing another middle reliever.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Brian Wilson agreed to a one-year deal last week