After an above-par 2013 postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to gamble on Juan Uribe one more time. The team offered the 35-year-old another crack at being the starting third baseman by re-signing him to a two-year contract.
Uribe built on the momentum he established late in 2013 and put together a 2014 campaign that had not been seen out of him in his tenure in Los Angeles. Although he battled somewhat of a recurring hamstring issue, Uribe provided a nearly-flawless glove at third while also performing well at the plate.
The 13-year veteran played spectacular defense that showcased his quick hands and feet, and cannon he has for an arm. Uribe’s play at third earned him consideration for a Gold Glove, which he also easily could’ve won after 2013.
As for his bat, Uribe was a relatively steady hitter for the Dodgers throughout the year. He hit over .300 in March, April, July and September. Uribe finished the season with a .311 batting average, his highest as a Dodger, and nine home runs with 54 RBIs.
Uribe’s contributions on the field are well-known, so too is his mentorship of Yasiel Puig and friendship that he’s developed with Hyun-Jin Ryu. While any number of Uribe’s defensive stops could be labeled the highlight of his season, the nod goes to one of the more unorthodox days last season.
On the final day of the regular season, manager Don Mattingly and his coaches took the day off as they handed the reins to the players. Uribe was the acting manager with Clayton Kershaw as the pitching coach and Hanley Ramirez the bench coach.
Being the personality that he is, Uribe made the most of his opportunity by wearing Mattingly’s jersey and changing into a Tommy Lasorda jersey during the game.
After signing a two-year, $15 million contract after the 2013 season, Uribe is set to make $7.5 million this upcoming season. At age 35, Uribe still seems to have plenty in the tank to aid the Dodgers as he had his best offensive season with the team in 2014.
If Uribe can replicate his play next season, it should make for another strong season with the Dodgers and set the stage for an interesting free agency decision after the 2015 season.