Dodgers, Juan Uribe agree on two-year contract
The Dodgers have reportedly filled their hole at first base by bringing back Juan Uribe.
The Dodgers and free agent third baseman Juan Uribe have agreed to a two-year contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman confirms that Uribe is indeed headed back to the team for which he played from 2011-13. Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that the Dodgers had interest in Michael Young as their primary third baseman. Needless to say, Uribe is the better solution.
According to Heyman, Uribe will earn $6.5 million in both 2014 and 2015. He also gets a $2 million signing bonus, so the total value of the contract is $15M.
Uribe, age 34, is coming off a 2013 season for the Dodgers in which he batted .278/.331/.438 (117 OPS+) with 12 home runs in 132 games. He struggled badly in 2011 and 2012, thanks in part to injuries, and his career OPS+ checks in at just 85 across parts of 13 major-league seasons. With that said, some right-handed pop is buried within those unappealing rate stats. Four times Uribe has tallied at least 20 homers in a season, and for his career he's averaged 18 homers per 162 games played. Uribe is also a standout fielder at the hot corner.
On the latter point, it's worth noting that the Dodgers last season had one of the most groundball-inclined pitching staffs in all of baseball, so infield defense figures to be especially important to them as they try to repeat as NL West champs in 2014.