Saturday, February 20, 2016

Indians ink Juan Uribe

The Cleveland Indians opened Arizona to their pitchers and catchers,but they added to their biggest question mark among the position players as Juan Uribe was signed to a one year contract,pending Uribe being able to pass the Indians routine physical.

The soon to be 37 old Uribe hit .253 with 14 homers in 2015 in a year split between three teams (Dodgers,Braves and Mets) and just under 400 at bats.
Uribe will likely be the opening day starter at third,although he will have to fend off Giovanny Urshela,who finished last season as the third sacker.
Urshela was a fine defensive player,but struggled in hitting just .225 in his 267 at bats and I can see why the Indians were looking for a offensive upgrade.
Uribe hits righthanded,which on the Indians is a help as most of their better hitters hit lefthanded and the one year contract for five million isn't the kind that you choke on-even the small market Indians.

However,I'm not as optimistic about this signing as many Indians observers are.
Uribe hasn't really hit well since leaving San Francisco in 2010 (an exception was 2013,which was really the only season that Uribe has stayed reasonably healthy) and seems to have problems staying in the lineup.
Uribe hasn't played more than 132 games since 2010 and despite a decent 2015 seems to me to be a player nearing the end of the line.

The Indians didn't appear to have many options and Uribe seems to be the best of those choices,but I wouldn't be surprised if the Indians got an out of gas veteran by the end of the year.
These players in decline tend to get old quickly and Cleveland had to act in desperation on Uribe.
I'd be happy if the Indians received anything near the league average from Uribe or even if he could stay in the lineup.
Not high fiving anyone over this signing,but looking at it as a one year stopgap-it could have been worse....

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