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Tag:Juan Uribe
Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:50 pm
 

Shortstops on the move, Rays' Bartlett next?

Shortstops fell quickly from the board Tuesday, which likely will lead to more urgency in Tampa Bay's trade talks surrounding Jason Bartlett over the next few days.

Juan Uribe signed with the Dodgers, Miguel Tejada agreed to terms with the Giants and the Cardinals acquired Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers for reliever Blake Hawksworth.

Meanwhile, even after striking a deal with Tejada, the Giants, according to sources, are one of several clubs engaging the Rays in conversations regarding Bartlett.

With Reid Brignac ready to play shortstop every day for the Rays and Tampa about to be decimated by the free agent market, general manager Andrew Friedman is investigating multiple scenarios. While All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford is expected to leave, the Rays also expect gaping holes in their bullpen.

Already this winter, set-up man Joaquin Benoit has signed with Detroit. Closer Rafael Soriano is expected to leave (for the Angels, perhaps?) and Grant Balfour, Randy Choate and Chad Qualls each declined arbitration on Tuesday.

Consequently, the Rays are said by rivals to be casting a wide net for relief help.

Aside from the Giants, the Orioles and Padres have expressed interest, according to sources. The Cardinals kicked the tires as well before nabbing Theriot for Hawksworth, who would have fit one of the areas the Rays are attempting to re-load.

San Diego could offer closer Heath Bell, who is eligible for free agency after 2011 and is expected to be moved sometime between now and the July trade deadline. Having lost Tejada to the Giants on Tuesday and having declined to offer arbitration to David Eckstein, the Padres are down to Everth Cabrera, Jerry Hairston Jr. and rookie Matt Antonelli as serviceable middle infielders.

Bartlett is eligible for arbitration for the third consecutive season before he can become a free agent after the 2011 season.

 

Posted on: November 30, 2010 9:23 pm
 

Giants agree to terms with Miguel Tejada

Moving quickly to plug the hole in their infield, World Series champion San Francisco agreed to terms with shortstop Miguel Tejada on a one-year, $6.5 million deal Tuesday just hours after postseason hero Juan Uribe officially signed with the Dodgers.

Tejada's deal with the Giants, confirmed to CBSSports.com by a high-ranking baseball official, will not be formalized until after he passes a physical. Because the Padres did not offer Tejada arbitration, they will not receive a compensatory draft pick from the Giants. The deal was first reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.

Part of what made Tejada attractive to the Giants, aside from the fact that he generally misses only a game or two a season, is that he can play both shortstop and third base. With serious questions surrounding Pablo Sandoval's ability to lose weight, the Giants could line up next year with Sandoval at third and Tejada at short ... or with Tejada at third and someone else at shortstop.

That someone else could be Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett. Trade talks between the Giants and Rays are continuing even after the Giants reached an agreement with Tejada, according to multiple sources. One source described talks between the Giants and Rays as "fluid."

Tejada, 36, started last season at third base in Baltimore, then returned to his old position, shortstop, when the Padres acquired him in a trade just before the July 31 deadline. Overall in 2010, Tejada hit .269 with a .312 on-base percentage and a .381 slugging percentage with 15 homers and 71 RBI.

In 59 stretch-run games with San Diego, he batted .268 with eight homers and 32 RBI.

If Sandoval follows the workout regimen prescribed for him this winter and loses 15-to-20 pounds, he and Tejada likely will make up the left side of the San Francisco infield.

But a trade could change that, as could the presence of Mark DeRosa, who missed almost all of 2010 with a wrist injury. DeRosa can play multiple infield positions, including third base, and outfield. He could spell Sandoval at third.

Either way, Tejada currently is lined up to play short -- unless general manager Brian Sabean acquires a true shortstop over the next several weeks.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 2:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 12:07 pm
 

Dodgers' early moves eye-opening

Come on now, the week's most intriguing issue isn't what the scales said when new Dodger Juan Uribe stepped on them during his physical examination Tuesday.

It's what the scale says when the Dodgers plop their 2011 payroll on top of it.

Maybe Uribe's new three-year, $21 million deal in Los Angeles will be looking a little ragged in 2013. Who knows, it might not look so great by the end of 2011. He's 31, seems like 36, and do you really think he can pop 24 homers in a summer again as he did in 2010?

But while the addition of Uribe provides plenty of cordwood for Hot Stove League debate, the fact that the Dodgers now have signed four significant free agents and we're not even to the Winter Meetings yet is the strongest signal yet that perhaps the worst of the Great McCourt Divorce Trial is starting to move through.

In handing left-hander Ted Lilly $33 million, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda $12 million, right-hander Jon Garland $5 million and now Uribe $21 million, the Dodgers have shelled out some $71 million during the offseason's first month.

You can argue that there is nary an impact player like a Cliff Lee or a Carl Crawford among them.

But neither, now, is there a Charlie Haeger in the projected mix for 2011.

The Dodgers are back in the game. Nobody's predicting a division title here but, already, the rotation is improved over that wing and a prayer they trotted out in 2010. Vicente Padilla as opening day starter was the organization's most embarrassing moment since the 1986 club filmed The Baseball Boogie music video.

In Garland and Lilly, general manager Ned Colletti is taking a smart, calculated gamble with veterans who are reliable and will handle a heavy innings-pitched workload. No, they don't completely close the gap with the world champion Giants of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. But more threadbare clubs like the Padres shouldn't run circles around them again.

Meanwhile, Uribe at second base at least has a better chance for a happy ending than Uribe at shortstop. No, that pear-shaped body isn't prototypical for a middle infield position. But a couple of things about Uribe:

-- He's a winner. He played pivotal roles on two World Series champion teams, the '05 White Sox and last year's Giants. When the stakes are high, he's come up big. He had nine RBIs in 14 post-season games last month.

-- He's beloved in the clubhouse. The Giants thought the world of him. On a Dodgers club that had clubhouse issues before Colletti arrived (Milton Bradley) and with a roster of younger players that still don't all get it (Matt Kemp), Uribe will add more than, say Manny Ramirez (no matter how the Dodgers spun his influence in the early days).

Again, this isn't to make Uribe out to be more than he is, which also is a man who batted .248 last season, owns a career on-base percentage of .300 and rarely works the count.

Truth be told, given where the Giants are and where the Dodgers are, this move is excellent for San Francisco, too. The Giants, who already specialize in ancient middle infielders (Omar Vizquel, Edgar Renteria), were smart not to over-extend with Uribe.

But for a Dodgers team that many figured would be drowning in the McCourt divorce saga for the next several years, the four moves so far at least represent hope that the clouds will part sooner rather than later.

And those don't even count what could be Colletti's best stroke of the winter, bringing back Dodgers legend Davey Lopes to coach first base. Lopes, a free agent after a dispute with the Phillies over his value, is the sharpest baserunning coach in the game.

That, and the possibility that maybe he can reach the still-maturing Kemp, make this way more than your average coach hire.

The Dodgers still have plenty to do and will be in the market for a catcher if they non-tender Russell Martin on Thursday (and the catching market is weaker than month-old iced tea).

But at the very least, a fourth-place club that finished 80-82 in 2010 has sprung out of the blocks quickly toward 2011. It's a start.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Giants order: Renteria leadoff, Uribe at third

SAN FRANCISCO -- Juan Uribe's MRI exam was "clean", according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, with "nothing structurally wrong. It did show some inflammation, but he was fine once the swelling went down."

So consequently, this is how the Giants' Game 3 lineup shakes out Tuesday afternoon against the Phillies: Edgar Renteria is playing shortstop and leading off, Uribe is at third and hitting seventh and Aaron Rowand is playing center and hitting eighth.

Makes as much sense as anything the Giants could run out there, being that with Andres Torres on the bench, they don't exactly have the consummate leadoff hitter. Renteria's on-base numbers against Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (.333 on-base percentage, .250 batting average at 6-for-24) qualifies him as much as just about anyone else.

Not exactly a powerhouse, but that's how the Giants and Bochy have won all season, by moving parts around and patching things together.

Meantime, lefty Aubrey Huff is dropped to sixth against the lefty Hamels, with Buster Posey hitting third, Pat Burrell fourth and Cody Ross fifth.

"We felt like we needed a leadoff hitter, and Edgar is our best option with Torres not in there," Bochy said.

Things still could shift if Uribe does not react well during batting practice today. In that case, the Giants would scratch him and play Pablo Sandoval at third.

Meantime, Bochy expects the struggling Torres (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts) back in the lineup for Game 4 against the Phillies' Joe Blanton.

"I think stepping back will help him out," Bochy said of Torres. "And you say that about a lot of hitters who are struggling a little bit. And there's a lefty going today. And there were times when we gave him a day against left-handed pitching.

"But I think sitting back, watching the game, will give him a break. Especially mentally more than anything."

 

Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Batting around Giants Game 3 lineup options

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants went home from Monday's off-day workout expecting lineup changes for Game 3 but not quite sure what they would be.

Infielder Juan Uribe underwent an MRI exam on his bruised wrist and manager Bruce Bochy indicated he would not know whether Uribe would be a go until Tuesday.

"Yes, it will impact our lineup," Bochy said as the Giants worked out Monday. "If he's good to go, he'll be out there. So it's just a matter now of waiting to see how he feels and the results from the MRI."

The best guess as to the Giants' Game 3 lineup goes something like this: Edgar Renteria likely will play shortstop, either Uribe or Pablo Sandoval will start at third base and Aaron Rowand probably will play center field.

Bochy wasn't definitive as he finished preparations for Game 3, but there were indications that the Giants had seen enough -- for now -- of Mike Fontenot's shaky third base defense and of leadoff man Andres Torres' continued struggles (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts).

On whether Uribe would play short or third if he's able to go at all, Bochy said, "I can't answer that right now. I'll talk to the guys as far as the whole lineup. But getting back to Uribe, he will impact how we go. We have a couple of options. We know whether Pablo is at third or Edgar plays short, Uribe at third, or if Juan can't go, you've got Edgar and Pablo."

A bit later, Bochy made it crystal clear: "If Juan is not available, yes, Pablo will be out there."

As for Torres, Bochy left that hanging, too -- with hints left all over the place.

"I'm not prepared to tell you what we're going to do until I talk to the players," Bochy said. "I know Andres is battling it right now."

So assuming Renteria is at short, Uribe or Sandova (likely Sandoval) is at third and Rowand in center, that leaves one more big question: Who will supplant Torres atop the lineup?

Hot-hitting Cody Ross is one option. Rowand is another. So is Renteria.

Looking at the numbers against Phillies starter Cole Hamels, Ross or Renteria would appear to be the best options. For his career, Ross is batting .300 (9-for-30) against Hamels with a .323 on-base percentage, four home runs and six RBIs. Renteria is at .250 (6-for-24) with a .333 OBP. Rowand is only hitting .200 (3-for-15) with a .200 OBP.

"Ross has done it [batted leadoff]," Bochy said. "When Torres wasn't in there, Row's done it. Edgar has done it. So these are things that we're talking about now."

Likes: No surprise that Tony La Russa will be back with St. Louis in 2011. How would any manager in his right mind leave a team whose centerpieces include Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday. ... Supposed to be beautiful 70 degrees when Game 3 of the NLCS starts here at 1:07 p.m. local time Tuesday. ... Critics are giving solid reviews to the new Elton John/Leon Russell disc The Union. But I may have to buy it just for the goofy cover shot of two weirdos at the piano. ...

Dislikes: Sure am glad I wasn’t on the road when Junior Seau drove off the cliff in my home town. Glad my wife wasn't on the road, too.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I'm just a guitar in the pawn shop on the corner
"Hey come on by and listen to my song
"I've seen at least a million of those tiny smokey barrooms
"And I've helped to heal some heartaches
"And I've helped to sell some beer
"And the last one to help me
"Just couldn't wait to sell me
"For 20 dollars and left me hanging here
"But I dream about the spot light
"And the roaring of the people
"And I wonder if I'm ever gonna hear 'em sing along"

-- Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song

Posted on: October 17, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Giants scratch Uribe for Game 2

PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants have scratched shortstop Juan Uribe from their Game 2 lineup because of a bruised left wrist sustained Saturday night.

Veteran Edgar Renteria will replace Uribe at shortstop in San Francisco's lineup and hit eighth. Outfielder Cody Ross, the Game 1 hero with two home runs, will move up to sixth (from eighth).

Uribe suffered the injury, to his left wrist, while sliding into second in the Giants' 4-3 Game 1 win. As he slid by the bag, Uribe reached out to grab it with his left hand, and that's when it happened. He was in the Giants' original lineup and was not scratched until a couple of hours before game-time.

Renteria played in only one regular season game down the stretch after Sept. 17 for the Giants. He played in two Division Series games against the Braves, batting only twice (he singled both times).

One thing to remember about this late switch: Renteria has hit Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt fairly well during his career, batting .281 (9-for-32) with a .333 on-base percentage in 32 at-bats.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com