With all the talk about the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into the 2013 season, I don’t think anyone predicted Juan Uribe to help the Dodgers as much as he did and was able to. Now, with free agency looming and Uribe not under contract any longer, Los Angeles has a decision to make in regards to Uribe’s future with the team.
The outlook of free agent third basemen isn’t much to get excited about. There is some quality to be found, but would any newly signed third basemen give the Dodgers more than Uribe did last season or can in the future? There are a few different ways Los Angeles can go about this. Let’s take a look at those options and figure out the best way for the Dodgers to handle this situation in the offseason.
This first option I am a big fan of, but it isn’t likely to happen. Dee Gordon has been one of the Dodgers’ top prospects for years, but he hasn’t exactly been able to get a grasp on the big league level quite yet. If the organization was to give Gordon the starting shortstop position and move Hanley Ramirez to third, then there would be no need for Uribe to be brought back.
With second basemen Mark Ellis a free agent as well, Gordon could be used at second base instead of short, and that would still leave a void at third base. However, the acquisition of Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero could possibly be an answer at either second or third base, which would then make Gordon expendable and possibly even be traded for an upgrade at either position.
Another prospect that can be thrown into this third base mix is Corey Seager. He’s been playing shortstop for the majority of his time in the minors, but with his huge body frame, third base may be in his future when he finally gets to the big leagues.
When it comes time to sit down and decide what to do with Uribe, I believe the Dodgers should re-sign him to a one year deal that is cap friendly, because overpaying for him is certainly not necessary. Allow Uribe to show the team what he can do next season, and if he proves to be a re-signing bust, then make a move accordingly that involves one of these younger players mentioned above.