Uribe agrees to two-year contract with Dodgers
Veteran third baseman back for $15 million over two years
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and third baseman Juan Uribe finally came to terms Saturday on a two-year, $15 million deal that resolves the club's biggest hole, according to a baseball source.
Uribe initially was hoping for three years, held out for two, while the Dodgers had previously offered one year plus an option. The Dodgers have not confirmed the agreement.
The return of Uribe eliminates the need to move shortstop Hanley Ramirez to third base. Now general manager Ned Colletti will focus on adding a utility man to provide depth at second base in the event that Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero isn't ready to start the season in the Major Leagues. Michael Young and Mark Ellis are among the free-agent candidates.
Uribe, 34, was coming off a three-year, $21 million contract from the Dodgers, but did virtually nothing the first two years. He revived his career by taking over the position from Luis Cruz midway through the 2013 season and went on to hit .278 with 12 homers and, more important, was a finalist for a Gold Glove.
Uribe committed only five errors in 900 1/3 innings for a .983 fielding percentage, second-best mark among National League third basemen, and was named the Dodgers' Wilson Defensive Player of the Year.
His two-run, game-winning home run off David Carpenter and the Braves helped clinched the Dodgers' Division Series win and sent the Dodgers into the League Championship Series.
Additionally, the popular Uribe grew into a clubhouse asset, providing senior leadership to young Latin players like Yasiel Puig and a light-hearted rapport with virtually everybody. He also spent late-season pregames dueling with former Giants teammate Brian Wilson in dominoes or cards.
Earlier on Saturday, Colletti dismissed a report that the club was ready to move on without Uribe and turn to the 37-year-old Young as a starting third baseman.
Colletti also wants to add as many as three relief pitchers -- a righty and lefty for middle relief and a long reliever.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.