Free Agent Stock Watch: Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe will draw interest after the season, when he brings his versatile glove and powerful bat to the free agent market. Uribe signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal with the Giants in January and he has certainly been worth the investment so far. 

At the plate, Uribe is walking more than ever, though his walk rate remains a modest 8.1%. He does have power (15 homers and 20 doubles), but his .256/.318/.449 line makes him a league-average hitter. Much of the ten-year veteran's value comes from his versatility; he plays regularly at second, third and short. UZR suggests that Uribe is an above-average defender this year and has played above-average defense at second, third and short over the course of his career. 

Placido Polanco ($18MM/ three years) and Chone Figgins ($36MM/ four years) signed deals that are presumably out of reach for Uribe. Other veteran infielders, including Pedro Feliz ($4.5MM/ one year), Orlando Hudson ($5MM/ one year) and Miguel Tejada ($6MM/ one year) signed deals that provide context for Uribe's next contract. 

Uribe currently projects to be a Type B free agent, but he is close to Type A status and could become a Type A by the end of the season. If he's a Type B free agent, teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign him. However, Type A status would hurt Uribe's free agent value, since teams would have to surrender a top pick to sign him if the Giants offer arbitration. San Francisco wouldn't necessarily offer arbitration, but it's in Uribe's best interest to stay in the Type B range.

If Uribe is a Type B free agent, as expected, a two-year deal seems possible, but not likely. Regardless, the 31-year-old can expect a significant raise from his current $3.25MM salary because of his versatility, power and improved walk rate.

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