The Los Angeles Dodgers have a lot of free agent decisions to make and one of them is what to do at third base. Juan Uribe is a free agent and with prospect Corey Seager still a year or so away, the Dodgers want to bridge the gap as easily as possible.
Uribe is reportedly seeking a three-year deal as he looks to cash in on his productive 2013 season that saw him hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI. With Alexander Guerrero looking like he’ll start Opening Day at second base, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was asked by Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio where things stood with the 34-year-old infielder:
Well, we’ve had some conversations with Juan. We’d like to get him back on a deal that everyone can be comfortable with. He’s our first chioce and hopefully we can get something figured out with him. Otherwise we’ll have to make a deal, look to the market or move the infield around.
Colletti did say that there have been no conversations about moving Hanley Ramirez to third base and looking to sign a shortstop at this time. If Uribe does bolt, a player like Jhonny Peralta could be a fit or even Stephen Drew to play short if they decide to have that conversation with Ramirez.
Other possible third baseman would have to be acquired via trade since the free agency market is quite thin. Aramis Ramirez, Mike Moustakas or possibly Will Middlebrooks could be targets for Colletti. With the news that Guerrero is likely the second baseman, the rumor of an Andre Ethier-Ian Kinsler trade looks unlikely at this point.
It remains to be seen if the Dodgers and Uribe can find common ground on a contract for at least next season as his clubhouse presence was invaluable during the 2013 season.
ICYMI: The Texas Rangers talked trade with the Dodgers at the GM Meetings.