Just a few months ago, Major League Baseball pundits were saying the Los Angeles Dodgers should trade Juan Uribe. His hefty contract and lack of productivity made him a liability the Dodgers no longer needed. Now with Hanley Ramirez out for two months, Uribe looks like a lock at third base. Things can sure change in baseball.
Uribe was signed by the Dodgers in 2011, after his best year in 2010 helping the San Francisco Giants win the World Series. The Dodgers signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract, but Uribe hasn’t been worth the money since arriving in LA. He has only played in 143 games the last two years.
To be fair, he was hurt in 2011, and that affected his season. In 2012, his numbers continued to drop, and he lost his starting role to Luis Cruz. Now with Ramirez hurt, Cruz will move to short, and that opens up third base for the return of Uribe. At 33, he could be nearing the end of his career, but Uribe can definitely help the Dodgers if he returns to the player he once was.
Career numbers have Uribe with a .251 BA, .296 OBP, and a .419 SLG. In 2010, he had 86 RBIs and 24 HRs which significantly helped the Giants in the World Series. He played in 144 games that year, and Uribe only committed three errors. He is more than capable of producing a 70 RBIs, and 20 HRs season if he stays healthy.
That’s the question — can he stay healthy? If Uribe does, he could fill the hole in the infield left by the Ramirez injury. His contract is up with the Dodgers this year. The Dodgers need him back to 2010 form. Either way, Uribe is suddenly significant in Los Angeles. If he produces, the Dodgers have a good chance of winning the National League pennant.