The Los Angeles Dodgers shopping list for the winter expanded this past week or so, but atop the list is finding a third baseman. Incumbent third baseman Juan Uribe surprised last season and is a free agent this off-season.
Uribe signed a three-year $21 million contract with the Dodgers heading into the 2011 season, but disappointed in his first two years. While he’s become a fan favorite over the past season, the 34-year-old third baseman is looking to cash in according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
#dodgers have interest in juan uribe. But so far he seeks a 3-yr deal. Even in thin 3B market, that’s probably a stretch.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 18, 2013
Heading into the season, Uribe was slated to platoon with 2012 second half sensation Luis Cruz, but his play made Cruz expendable and he took over primary third base duties for the rest of the season. Uribe hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI, but it was his fatherly presence in the clubhouse and incredible NLDS Game 4 home run that has Dodger fans wanting him back next season.
While the Dodgers have maintained they’re interested in bringing Uribe back, it’s unlikely they’d want him back on that lengthy of a contract. Top prospect Corey Seager is looming at High A Rancho Cucamonga as there’s growing belief that he could be at the big league level as early as 2015.
One thing working in Uribe’s favor is the thin third base market as Jhonny Peralta, Kevin Youkilis and Eric Chavez make up the available players, or the Dodgers could also look the trade route if “Uribear” signs elsewhere.
It’s unlikely the Dodgers go to three years for Uribe with Seager right around the corner, but he definitely could be back if he settles for a one or two year deal.
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