Hanley Ramirez and Corey Seager can now relax. A few hours after I wrote about the Dodgers’ hole at third base, the team made a great move by re-signing Juan Uribe to a very reasonable and affordable two-year, $15 M contract. This means:
1. The most popular clubhouse guy on the team will still be around next season;
2. Ramirez will remain the shortstop, as long as he is healthy enough to play; and
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|3. Seager can spend a relaxing season in AAA honing his talents and getting ready to be Uribe’s 2015 caddy and the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman in 2016.
With the White Sox, Marlins, and supposedly even Tampa Bay all sniffing around Uribe, the Dodgers’ snuck back in and walked away with a guy they really needed. That in and of itself is a very interesting turn of events. Three years ago, it was the Dodgers’ signing away a free agent Uribe from the Giants, for a three-year, $21 M deal, that looked to all the world to be a disaster. Uribe was seldom healthy and when he
was, he hit like he was in a coma, batting .204 and .191 and hitting a TOTAL of six home runs over his first two seasons as a Dodger. He eventually, and looking back, incredibly, lost the third base job to Luis Cruz, he of the .127 average.
Uribe also started slow this past season, playing behind Cruz, but he got healthy and once Cruz was dispatched far, far away, Uribe had a great second half and was a key performer
|in the post season, solidifying his importance to the team as a leader, as a monster defensive player at third, and as a clutch hitter.
Conversely, the Dodgers have now lost Mark Ellis to the Cardinals. The signing and apparent handing off of the regular second base job to Alexander Guerrero made Ellis expendable, and it never looked like the Dodgers would really try to keep him. St. Louis traded third baseman David Freese to the Angels for Peter Bourjos and will be moving breakout star second baseman Mark Carpenter to
third, and they hope Kolten Wong can earn the regular job at second, with Ellis being insurance there.
With only Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers as reserve infielders, the Dodgers still need to look for an experienced backup infielder. Perhaps Michael Young , who had also been in the mix for the third base job before last night, is the right guy.
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