Giants reach pact with Uribe
Veteran utility man agrees to Minor League deal
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have acquired a former Chicago White Sox infielder, but it's not Joe Crede.San Francisco announced on Thursday that free-agent utility man Juan Uribe has signed a one-year Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training camp. Uribe, 29, has spent the past five seasons with the White Sox -- teaming with Crede, the free-agent third baseman San Francisco has pursued. Uribe, a .253 lifetime hitter in eight seasons with Colorado and Chicago, likely will be a reserve if he makes the Opening Day roster. But he can provide a veteran presence at second base, where the list of candidates consists of the relatively inexperienced Emmanuel Burriss, Kevin Frandsen and Eugenio Velez. Uribe also can spell shortstop Edgar Renteria if necessary. Though Uribe played only four games at shortstop last season, he has appeared there in 768 of his 986 Major League games. He also can play third, enabling him to complement Pablo Sandoval if the near-rookie starts there. Obtaining Uribe doesn't end the Giants' search for an offensively proven corner infielder. Though he has hit 20 or more homers in three of his eight Major League seasons, his slugging percentage dipped under .400 in each of the last two. For what it's worth, he owns a career .121 average (7-for-58) in 17 games at AT&T Park. Last season, Uribe, a right-handed batter, hit .247 with seven homers and 40 RBIs in 110 games. Uribe's addition, director of player personnel Bobby Evans said, "doesn't eliminate us from doing something else." Nor does Uribe's arrival apparently erase chances that the Giants could re-sign Rich Aurilia, who has spent 10 of his 13 big league seasons with them. Though Aurilia can play all four infield spots, he has played most frequently at the corners. In many roster scenarios, he and Uribe wouldn't automatically make each other redundant. The Giants have not told Aurilia's agent, Barry Axelrod, that they won't bring back his client.
"I haven't heard anything specific," Axelrod said.
The Giants have repeated that if they re-sign Aurilia, a free agent, they wouldn't do so until late in the offseason. Giants position players are due to report to the club's training base in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 17.SI.com, which initially reported the Uribe deal, said that his contract could be worth up to $1 million if he's with the Giants on Opening Day.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.