Here is something I never expected to say. What a relief it is to hear that the Dodgers retained Juan Uribe. Per Ken Rosenthal, the third baseman is returning on a two-year $15 million deal.
The biggest risk in bringing back Uribe for two more years is that you have no idea which guy you are going to get. The one who posted around .750 OPS in 2010 and 2013--in return for huge contracts each time--or the one who combined for 86 hits in 2011 and 2012 with a .199 batting average.
In 2013, Dodger fans pulled a complete 180 on Uribe, who they had boo'd in previous years. He became a fan favorite with his rediscovered discipline and success at the plate, comedic ways in the dugout, consistently great defense at third, and the biggest home run of the year in Game 4 of the NLDS.
Perhaps most importantly, in a year where the Dodgers seemed to be made of glass, Uribe provided a strong, healthy anchor at third base and in the batting order. He has a good injury history, and has played in over 120 games in almost every year of his career, except for when he struggled and spent time on the bench in 2011 and 2012.
Overall, this is the move the Dodgers had to make. The third base market is very weak this off-season, and they did not have to commit too much to Uribe.
A one-year deal would have been ideal, but it makes sense that Uribe would try to cash in on his good 2013. The Dodgers had to make this deal because they definitely did not want to go elsewhere to fill in third base.
This move pretty much finalizes the Dodgers starting lineup, leaving the bench and bullpen with holes to fill. There is still a lot of time before the season begins, but this appears to be the 2014 Dodgers defensive arrangement: C AJ Ellis, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, 2B Alexander Guerrero, 3B Juan Uribe, SS Hanley Ramirez, OF Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig.