Juan Uribe is making a name for himself in the postseason with two big homers that have propelled the Giants to the cusp of a World Series title.
After several solid years with Colorado and the White Sox, Uribe entered free agency after the 2008 season with his stock down. The Giants inked him to a minor-league deal and brought him to spring training to compete for a job.
Uribe won a spot on the bench and increasingly played his way into relevancy as Edgar Renteria stumbled at shortstop. He finished 2009 with a .289/.329/.495 mark in 432 plate appearances. While he tested free agency again after the year, the then-30-year-old resigned with San Fran for $3.25 million for just one year.
Uribe played the bulk of the season at shortstop thanks to Renteria's ineffectiveness and injuries but moved to third base down the stretch as the team gave up on Pablo Sandoval. In 575 PA, he slashed .241/.310/.440 with 24 home runs, a career high.
Now, Uribe should enter the free agent market with a good chance of securing at least a two-year deal.
One team that could hand him just that is the Astros, as Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle believes that Uribe would be a good fit in Houston.
The Astros have Chris Johnson slated to play third, Jeff Keppinger second and either Tommy Manzella or Angel Sanchez at short. The latter two are not starting-caliber players as they contribute minimally with the bat. Importing Uribe's stick would upgrade the 'Stros shortstop position as well as give the Astros the flexibility to start Manzella and his strong defense at short when Johnson or Keppinger hit the bench as Uribe would simply shift over.
The Astros have a lot of work to do before they can return to the World Series, but the second-half play of the squad proves that Houston can still make noise at the major-league level. Uribe would certainly help raise the decibel level.
-- Evan Brunell
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