After expressing doubt about their abilities to re-sign third baseman Juan Uribe, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the 34-year-old third baseman agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract last week.
Uribe rebounded in 2013 after two awful years, where he could barely hit his weight. Providing solid defense and someone for Yasiel Puig to look up to, he wasn’t too bad at the plate either. He hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI after he beat out infielder Luis Cruz for the starting third base spot early in the season.
Talking to the Petros and Money show on AM 570 Radio, GM Ned Colletti talked about the importance of re-signing Uribe:
There was nobody better than Juan to come back here. He’s probably the most beloved player in that room.
It was Uribe that acted like the big brother for Puig along with Hanley Ramirez as every player rooted for him to have a great season after his previous two years with the Dodgers. Not to mention, he hit the biggest home run in Dodgers postseason history since Kirk Gibson’s homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, sending the Dodgers to their first NLCS since 2009.
If the Dodgers didn’t re-sign Uribe, moving Hanley Ramirez to third base was an internal option or Colletti would’ve had to scour the weak free agent or trade markets.
Along with the Dodgers, the Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays had varying degrees of interest as Uribe wanted a two-year deal without a one-year deal with an option for another. Based on reports, it sounds like the Dodgers offered one-year and $9 million, but ultimately decided to add another year to the contract while lowering the AAV.
While signing Uribe to a two-year deal comes with some risk, the Dodgers stabilized their infield with an above average third baseman and the team will have their favorite teammate back in the clubhouse.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week