mark ellisThe Los Angeles Dodgers made one of their most important signings yesterday afternoon when they agreed to a two-year deal with third baseman Juan Uribe. Signing the 34-year-old infielder got rid of any speculation about moving shortstop Hanley Ramirez over to third base with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero playing his natural shortstop position.

Signed to a four-year deal in late October, most pegged Guerrero as the Dodgers starting second baseman, which made declining Mark Ellis’s option that much easier. However, throughout everything, the Dodgers remained in contract with Ellis, but looks to be moving on according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Losing Ellis makes it another veteran player moving on, joining Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto and Jerry Hairston, Jr. The 36-year-old infielder will compete with Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong, which might’ve been the case with he and Guerrero if he re-signed in LA.

In 2013, Ellis hit .270 with six home runs and 48 RBI while hitting primarily out of the second spot in the lineup. While the offensive numbers don’t jump off the page, it’s his defense that the Dodgers will miss. For the season, Ellis only had six errors, but also had 12 defensive runs saved, which ranked second behind Dustin Pedroia for second baseman.

To show how valuable Ellis was last season, the Dodgers were 69-37 when he started, while just 23-33 when he didn’t. It remains to be seen if the Dodgers believe Guerrero is ready to start everyday from Day 1 or if they sign another veteran infielder to compete in Spring Training.

GM Ned Colletti has a laundry list of things to do: add to the bullpen and now remake the bench with the amount of veterans that moved on. Losing Ellis will make things a bit more challenging as the Dodgers had been hopeful about his return.

UPDATE: Monday at 12:35 PM PST from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports with terms of the deal 

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ICYMI: The Dodgers and Juan Uribe agreed to a two-year deal

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