Juan Uribe Rumors

Cuba Notes: Yoilan Serce, Olivera, Dodgers, D’Backs

There’s another middle infielder name to be aware of, per MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter links) and Ben Badler of Baseball America (via Twitter). Yoilan Serce, 27, will put on a showcase tomorrow in Florida. The second baseman owns an attractive .325/.395/.468 slash in his nine-year run in Cuba, but his power numbers dipped significantly over the past two seasons, with his slugging percentage coming in shy of .400 for the first time in his career. If you want an early look at Serce, check the second link to Sanchez’s Twitter account above to watch a few BP cuts.

Here are a few more notes on the thriving market for Cuban ballplayers:

  • Should the Dodgers land infielder Hector Olivera, as some have suggested is likely, the plan would almost certainly be to use him at third base, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports report. Los Angeles would need to figure out a role or a trade for incumbent Juan Uribe in that scenario. The difficulty with stashing Uribe on the bench, of course, is that his value is tied up primarily in his glove at the hot corner. While he probably would have drawn some interest after a strong 2014, it is not clear whether there are many obvious suitors at this point.
  • As others have suggested, and Rosenthal explains, there are good reasons to think that the teams that have already blown past their international bonus pool allocations will be the ones to make most of the significant investments in young Cuban talent over the coming months. Alternatively, teams that have yet to incur the significant penalties for going well over their spending allotment are waiting to see if they can land multiple players so as to make it worthwhile.
  • The Diamondbacks, for instance, already signed Yoan Lopez and now have interest in second baseman Andy Ibanez, per the report. Sources also tell Rosenthal that Arizona is out of cash, however.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Zobrist, Price, Hanley, Dodgers, Martinez

In the video atop his latest Notes column for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal states that he feels this will finally be the year that the Rays deal David Price, as they can receive max value for him by dealing their ace to a team that can use him for two playoff pushes. He also adds that he expects the Rays to move Ben Zobrist, even though his price tag is affordable, simply because the demand for Zobrist will be so high.

Here are some more highlights from his column…

  • Hanley Ramirez‘s poor glove is perhaps the main reason that he and the Dodgers have yet to agree to an extension, Rosenthal writes. He wonders how much that flaw will impact Ramirez’s value on the open market at a time when teams are placing a higher premium than ever before on defense. He adds that if Ramirez does stay in L.A. and shift to third base in the long-term on his next contract, the team may have to trade Juan Uribe and his $6.5MM 2015 salary.
  • Looking at other Dodgers issues, Rosenthal writes that many executives around the league expect that it will ultimately be Matt Kemp who is traded to clear the team’s outfield logjam, though it likely won’t happen until the offseason. He adds that the Dodgers are likely to be in the market for a starting pitcher after the news that Chad Billingsley is out for the season, as Josh Beckett and Dan Haren are tough to rely on down the stretch.
  • Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez completely revamped his swing mechanics this offseason before he was released by the Astros in Spring Training. He signed a minor league deal with Detroit two days later and found himself teammates with the man whose mechanics he spent the entire offseason studying — Miguel Cabrera. Martinez tells Rosenthal he watched video of Cabrera and Ryan Braun all winter and “re-invented” himself at the plate. It may not be sustainable, but the early results are positive; Martinez is hitting .300/.333/.570 with six homers in 108 PA with Detroit.

Dodgers Re-Sign Juan Uribe

DECEMBER 24th, : Uribe gets a $2MM signing bonus with $6.5MM in year one and $6.5MM in year two, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

4:30pm: The Dodgers confirmed the signing.

DECEMBER 14th, 7:17pm: Uribe will receive $15MM in the deal, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets.

3:52pm: The Dodgers are set to re-sign Juan Uribe to a two-year deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Uribe is represented by Praver/Shapiro, according to the MLBTR Agency Database.  Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.Uribe

Earlier today, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said that he was hopeful that he could bring the third baseman back to Los Angeles.  It was a mild surprise to hear that given the reports indicating that the Dodgers were set to move on after a lack of responsiveness from Uribe's side to their latest offer.  The Dodgers were said to be seeking a one-year deal with an option for year two but it would appear that the veteran has secured two guaranteed years.

Uribe hit .273/.331/.438 for the Dodgers last season, a dramatic improvement over the .199/.262/.289 line he gave L.A. in the previous two campaigns.  The new deal keeps the 34-year-old in a comfortable spot – he's spent the last three years in L.A. and thanks to stints in Colorado and San Francisco, he's spent all but five of his 13 big league seasons in the NL West.

Uribe made over 100 starts for the Dodgers in 2013 and was incredibly valuable, posting the fourth-best WAR among all free agents.  It's a far cry from his position prior to the '13 season when some wondered if the Dodgers might look to cut Uribe and eat the $7MM remaining on his deal.

The Dodgers were looking at re-signing Michael Young to be their everyday third baseman as a contingency plan and while he could still return to L.A., it would appear that he'd have to sign on in a different role.  The Marlins and Rays were also among the clubs with interest in Uribe.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted that Uribe would land a two-year, $12MM deal at the outset of the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Juan Uribe Rumors: Saturday

Here is the latest on Juan Uribe, who is one of the most intriguing infield candidates remaining on the free agent market:

  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said today that he remains hopeful of bringing back Uribe at third, reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com (via Twitter). Recent reports had indicated that Uribe and the Dodgers may be moving apart after the sides could not agree on a one-year deal with an option for a second.
  • Earlier this morning, we heard that Michael Young could be of interest as the everyday man on the hot corner in Los Angeles, based in part on the team's perception that Uribe could be planning to depart.
  • The Marlins remain interested in Uribe, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported late last night. Miami would likely not only use Uribe at third, but also to take some at-bats against lefties at first base. Uribe wants two or three years in a deal, says Frisaro.

Rays Interested In Juan Uribe

The Rays have interest in free agent Juan Uribe, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  The veteran would play mostly at first, some at second base, and also back up Evan Longoria at third base.

With limited available third base options out there, Uribe has a good amount of interest from around baseball.  The Rays will have to vie with the other Florida team, amongst others, for his services.  Uribe hit .273/.331/.438 for the Dodgers last season, a dramatic improvement over the .199/.262/.289 line he gave L.A. in the previous two campaigns.

The Dodgers have interest in bringing Uribe back, but they're reportedly set to move on since they haven't heard back on their latest offer.

Latest On Juan Uribe

12:15pm: Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times and Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune both report that the White Sox aren't in on Uribe (Twitter links).

11:33am: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't currently showing interest in Uribe.

11:05am: Rojas tweets that the Dodgers have offered one year with an option, while the White Sox are willing to go to two years.

10:26am: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Dodgers and White Sox are also pushing to land Uribe (Twitter link).

9:53am: The Marlins are interested in adding Juan Uribe to fill their hole at third base, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The Marlins have been surprisingly active this offseason, inking Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Garrett Jones and Rafael Furcal to free agent deals. The team is said to be aggressively shopping first baseman Logan Morrison as well, which has been rumored to be one potential means of addressing Miami's need at third base.

Uribe would be a spendier option than landing a third baseman for Morrison but could allow the Fish to widen their range of targets in discussing Morrison trades by removing what is currently a glaring hole at third base. Marlins third basemen batted just .255/.308/.320 in 2013 — a line upon which Uribe's .273/.331/.438 would be a sizable upgrade.

Overnight Links: Braves, Uribe, Red Sox, Nationals

As we gear up for Day Two of the Winter Meetings, let's take a look at the latest from around baseball..

  • There are mixed opinions in the Mariners' front office when it comes to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Mariners have been heavily linked to the 29-year-old who boasts great talent but also comes with injury concerns.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren doesn't expect to make a blockbuster trade or a massive signing, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But in the case of our club, I don’t see necessarily a frontline move," Wren said. "I see more support moves, where you’re adding a bat that can give you power off the bench, or adding to our bullpen, or adding to the depth of our rotation. I see more of those kind of moves than a big frontline move.
  • MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter) hasn't heard much regarding a rumor that the White Sox are in the process of trying to bring third baseman Juan Uribe back to Chicago.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of the team going into luxury tax territory, suggesting that to even consider that option, the club would need to have a "really compelling reason." Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com has the details.
  • A lot of teams have asked the Nationals about set-up men Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, a baseball source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com. As of right now, however, talks have not heated up. Yesterday we heard that the Cubs have interest in the duo.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that his club has the prospects to get any player that is available (Twitter link).
  • Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that the Giants aren't a fit as trade partners for teams looking to deal an outfielder in exchange for Major League ready talent.

Luke Adams and Steve Adams contributed to this post.

Dodgers Notes: Kemp, Ethier, Tanaka, Uribe, Wright

Matt Kemp may eventually get dealt this offseason, but it doesn't look like the Dodgers and Red Sox will reach an agreement involving the outfielder. We heard earlier this afternoon that Boston's talks for Kemp were unlikely to get serious, and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com backs that up, writing that there's "nothing to" the rumors of Boston's interest. Here's more on the Dodgers:

  • While Kemp probably won't be headed to the Red Sox, the Dodgers remain in discussions with four teams on trade possibilities involving him or Andre Ethier, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
  • The Dodgers will be interested in Masahiro Tanaka if and when he's posted, but that interest may be more lukewarm than exepected, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin hears from two sources familiar with the team's thinking that L.A. won't pursue Tanaka with the sort of "win-at-all-costs mentality" that marked the club's pursuit of Hyun-jin Ryu a year ago.
  • Having not heard back yet from free agent infielder Juan Uribe, the Dodgers are preparing to move on from him, reports Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. GM Ned Coletti indicated that the team could shift its focus to acquiring a third baseman via trade.
  • Jamey Wright is on the Dodgers' radar as a potential long man, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

White Sox Notes: Sale, Quintana, Santiago, Uribe

The White Sox are open to discussing trades for Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi notes that Sale, who can be controlled for a whopping six years at just over $55MM, would command significantly more than even David Price could net the Rays. Morosi runs down a list of several reasons as to why it could make sense for the ChiSox to move their ace this offseason. Here are a few more links pertaining to the South Siders…

  • Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago spoke to White Sox GM Rick Hahn this morning (Twitter link). Hahn told Hayes that he wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't at least listen to offers, but he would need an "unfathomable" return to part with Sale.
  • One GM told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he thinks teams are pushing the White Sox to reconsider their unwillingness to part with Sale when asked this morning (Twitter link).
  • The White Sox are in the process of trying to bring Juan Uribe back to Chicago, reports David Vassegh of FOX Sports 570 AM Radio in Los Angeles (on Twitter). Uribe would fill a need for the Sox, though as GM Rick Hahn told me at last month's GM Meetings, his team prefers left-handed bats.
  • The White Sox never got involved on Chicago native Curtis Granderson, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Grandy Man signed a four-year, $60MM deal with the Mets last week.

NL West Notes: Uribe, Ibanez, Young, Morse, Ichiro

In an Insider post (subscription required), Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio names eight players who could be traded during the Winter Meetings. The Rays' David Price tops the list with Bowden's possible destinations starting with the Dodgers. The Dodgers also have two of their own on the list: outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Here's more on the Boys in Blue and the rest of the NL West: 

  • Re-signing Juan Uribe figures to be at or near the top of the Dodgers' to-do list at the Winter Meetings, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Uribe is not seeking a three-year contract and the holdup with the Dodgers is either their desire for a one-year deal or money, tweets ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted confirmation of an earlier report the Rockies are interested in Raul Ibanez, but cautioned nothing is serious at this point. Renck also noted Michael Young is on the club's radar for a bench role.  
  • The Rockies are also becoming more serious about Michael Morse along with the Giants, Marlins, and Rangers, reports the New York Post's Joel Sherman (Twitter links).
  • There's been speculation the Giants could be a fit for Ichiro Suzuki, but Ken Davidoff of the New York Post tweets he doesn't believe that's the case.
  • The demands of the trade market will determine what course Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers takes during the Winter Meetings, reports azcentral.com's Nick Piecoro. "Most people are asking for quite a bit right now, I'm not real excited about what I'd have to give up in the trade market," Towers said. "I'm hoping maybe the price starts to come down. If not, then I'll turn to more free agents."
  • Left-hander Erick Threets is looking to play in Asia, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The 32-year-old spent 2013 with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League pitching to a 7.04 ERA, 5.9 K/9, and 7.5 BB/9 in 23 innings covering 27 relief outings. Threets' last MLB affiliation was with the Dodgers' Triple-A team 2012 and his last appearance in a big league game was in 2010 for the White Sox