Veteran third baseman Juan Uribe remains available in free agent as the market for infielders has continued to move slowly. He’s been a consistently productive player since turning around his fading career in 2013, putting up a .281/.329/.432 slash while averaging about a dozen home runs over 400 plate appearances annually since that time. And while defensive metrics didn’t view him as a huge contributor with the glove last year, as they had in the two prior seasons, Uribe factors as a positive in the field. Of course, he’s also closing in on 37 years of age.
Here’s the latest:
- The Giants have had talks with Uribe’s camp, says Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Twitter link). San Francisco obviously doesn’t have a starting role available, but could conceivably use Uribe at third, second, and even first. But the asking price remains too steep for San Francisco’s liking, Olney says.
- As far as Uribe’s negotiating stance goes, Olney adds in another tweet that his reps are telling teams that they are willing to “discuss salaries at two different scales.” The ask would be higher if the team proposes to use him as a regular, as opposed to a bench piece. With the Indians said to be looking at Uribe as a fairly significant contributor, it isn’t clear exactly how this line of thinking will impact the ultimate results.
- The Yankees ought to consider making a play for Uribe to occupy the roster spot that might have gone to injured youngster Greg Bird, Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests. New York hasn’t done so as of yet, Sherman notes, but ought to pursue a deal with the versatile defender. With Alex Rodriguez functioning as a bat-only player — a point which GM Brian Cashman made abundantly clear — Sherman suggests that flexibility is a higher need than another power hitter in the infield mix.