As the Los Angeles Dodgers look to solidify the backend of the bullpen, questions remain about what they’ll do in the infield. Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero was signed to presumably play second base after they declined the $5.75 million option on Mark Ellis.
However, with Juan Uribe reportedly seeking a three-year deal, the Dodgers might have to go in a different direction. The third base free agent market is rather thin and with prospect Corey Seager looming in the the minor leagues, the choice might be in-house. According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, the Dodgers have a Plan B if Uribe signs elsewhere:
If Uribe gets it elsewhere, a Plan B would be to slide Hanley Ramirez from shortstop to third base. Ramirez resisted that move while with the Marlins, but he’s expected to accept it from the Dodgers, especially if the move is accompanied by a contract extension. Those talks, which Ramirez revealed last week, have only been preliminary.
During his time with the Marlins, Ramirez was upset at the acquisition of Jose Reyes, which forced him to move to third base. As Gurnick notes, Ramirez wants to be in LA long-term and sounds willing and ready to make the position change if necessary.
Guerrero projects as a middle infielder in the big leagues and many scouts believe second base and not shortstop is his ideal position. As he plays Winter Ball, the 26-year-old infielder is playing second base in an effort to learn the new position. Meanwhile, creating a hole at second base will likely increase rumors that the Dodgers might be preparing a secret run at Yankees free agent Robinson Cano.
Owner Magic Johnson said a deal with Cano is unlikely since the Dodgers need to reach extensions with Ramirez and ace Clayton Kershaw and the 31-year-old second baseman is reportedly seeking nine-years and $200-250 million. The article also suggests Ellis could come back to play second base or Guerrero starting at second and the Dodgers signing a shortstop, like a Stephen Drew.
It sounds like a lot of the Dodgers infield plan hinges on whether or not Uribe will return for a year or maybe two as GM Ned Colletti tries to start plugging holes in the roster.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and right-hander Dan Haren agreed to a one-year deal last weekend