Monday, November 29, 2010

More Great Moments in Dodger Decision Making...

If the reports from Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal are true, Juan Uribe made an awful lot of money today.  How much?  3 years and $21M.  Yikes!  This has to be one of Ned Colletti's moves, and he's had a lot of them.  (Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones anyone?)  Then again, what else do you expect from a man that was an apprentice under Brian Sabean.*

*Making fun of Brian Sabean never ceases to bring me joy.

To steal a word from Casey Close's vocabulary, I can't help but be "baffled" by the Dodgers willingness to go to three years on Uribe, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding the franchise's ownership situation.  $21M is a lot of money for a player that's posted below average wOBAs in six of his nine full seasons in the major leagues.  Offensively, he exhibits above average power, but not much else.  Uribe has a below average line drive rate, poor plate discipline, and replacement level on-base abilities.  This isn't to say he's not a useful player.  Uribe is a versatile defensive player who's proficient at three defensively challenging infield positions (2B, 3B, and SS).  That said, Uribe isn't the type of player any team should invest in long term as there are cheaper alternatives on the market each offseason.  The Dodgers would've been wise to do their due diligence, and explore the market for undervalued players.

With Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake currently entrenched at shortstop and third base, the Dodgers will likely play Uribe primarily at second base.  Despite Uribe's offensive shortcomings, he still represents an upgrade over current second baseman Ryan Theriot, who's now likely to be non-tendered.  While Uribe's acquisition likely makes the Dodgers better in the short term, it poses several questions for the Dodgers in the long-term.  Uribe will be under contract for his age 32, 33, and 34 seasons.  As such, he's much more likely to decline than improve.  It's not a stretch to imagine Uribe regressing back to this 2007/2008 replacement level form.  If he does, Colletti will be the one with egg on his face.

In an unrelated note, I wonder how Uribe's signing will impact the Derek Jeter contract negotiations...

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