Sources: Juan Uribe, Dodgers near deal
The Los Angeles Dodgers are close to signing free-agent infielder Juan Uribe to a three-year, $21 million deal, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Monday.
Uribe was on his way to Los Angeles from the Dominican Republic to take a physical, a source told The Associated Press on Monday.
The move would not only strengthen the Dodgers but hurt their archrival, the Giants. Uribe batted only .149 in the playoffs for San Francisco last season, but he had two homers and drove in nine runs to help the Giants win the World Series.
San Francisco offered Uribe salary arbitration last Tuesday, when general manager Brian Sabean said the sides were far off in their numbers. Sabean had hoped to bring back Uribe to keep much of his roster intact heading into 2011.
The Dodgers would likely play Uribe at second base next season. He played at shortstop, second base and third for the Giants. The Dodgers would likely then non-tender Ryan Theriot, last season's second baseman who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs along with Ted Lilly.
The 10-year-veteran has won two championships, also playing for the 2005 Chicago White Sox. In a 10-year career, he has a .256 batting average with 151 homers and 599 RBIs.
With Uribe likely departing, the Giants must now consider other infield options. Miguel Tejada, who finished the season with the San Diego Padres, is available as a free agent. The Tampa Bay Rays have let it be known that Jason Bartlett could be available in a trade, baseball sources told Olney. And though his price tag is likely to be out of the Giants' reach, the Yankees' Derek Jeter is also available as a free agent.
"So this may take some time to get sorted out," Sabean said of Uribe. "I think both parties are willing to do something faster, we're just not talking the same language in ballpark figures. You have to be patient because we like the player ... but you do have to do business at hand and that's why we're juggling the trade scenario. I really don't know what the outside world is going to bring to him offer wise."
At 80-82, Los Angeles finished fourth in the NL West in manager Joe Torre's final season after reaching the NL Championship Series the previous two years. It marked the club's first losing season since 2005.
Three year is a lot. However, I think this hurts the Giants and anything that hurts the Giants can only help the Dodgers.
The Giants need to find a replacement for Uribe and don't really have a lot of options out there. Tejada seems like a Sabean guy at this point of his career, so the answer could be him. Or Derek Jeter, another Sabean guy.