Another week closer to season and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ off-season had one of its busiest weeks in beginning to finalize the 2014 roster. The team is starting to round out and the Dodgers may be done with big-name free agents.
After the week, let’s take a look at what was trending up and down in the organization.
The 34-year-old infielder re-signed with the Dodgers for two years and $15 million. Uribe took his time in making a decision and it appeared as if the Dodgers were ready to move on from the third baseman. Things quickly changed after it was reported that the team was looking at Michael Young for the everyday third base spot.
Uribe is coming off a three-year deal with the team that saw him provide two of the worst statistical seasons in his career before becoming a solid contributor last season. The right-handed hitting Uribe took over the third base spot and ended the season hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI.
The signing keeps Hanley Ramirez at shortstop and Alexander Guerrero at second base, while bringing back a locker room favorite in Uribe.
The Dodgers came to terms with Howell, making him the second Dodger free agent to re-sign this week. The two sides had been discussing a deal for a few weeks, with the major difference being the number of years on the contract. They settled on a two-year deal worth $11.5 million with a vesting option for 2016.
Howell returns as one of two lefties out of the bullpen, along with Paco Rodriguez. He appeared in 67 games last season and had a 2.03 ERA. The deal solidifies a Dodger bullpen that re-signed Brian Wilson and returns Rodriguez, Chris Withrow, Brandon League, Jose Dominguez and Kenley Jansen.
The team is reportedly still in the market for another capable arm with closing experience but took another step towards finalizing the bullpen with Howell re-signing.
The outfielder has been seen all over during the off-season and this week Puig showed what he was doing to get ready for 2014. He was also the subject for a special on Time Warner Cable Deportes as a part of their Historias Detras program. The special aired Friday night on the Spanish-language channel.
Puig has been posting videos of his workouts in preparation for the 2014 season. The 23-year-old had a strong rookie season and will be looking to avoid the “sophomore slump” that has been said to plague players in their second season. It looks as if Puig is working towards having an even better year than his first.
Heading into the next season as the team’s primary right fielder, Puig is part of a formidable Dodger lineup that should score plenty of runs.
The second baseman officially parted ways with the Dodgers, signing a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Ellis’ option was declined after the season and the Dodgers made it clear that they were heading a different direction when they signed Guerrero. The two sides had some mutual interest but not enough to make a deal.
Ellis goes to the team that eliminated the Dodgers from the postseason last year and will share time with Kolten Wong. He’ll spend time at second base and it was reported that he may see some time at third base as well. The 36-year-old leaves after two productive seasons with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will now go with Guerrero at second base, with Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas also competing for a spot.
Young went from a potential starting position with the Dodgers to possibly returning in a bench role. The infielder has drawn interest from a few teams but could have been the everyday third baseman for a top contender. The Dodgers re-signed Uribe and may be out on bringing back Young next season.
The Dodgers may decide to re-sign Young to a backup utility role but he could find himself in a new uniform for 2014. There is still a chance that he could find a starting role but not with a contending team.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week