We return with our annual daily reviews of individual Dodgers from last season, beginning with the player who enjoyed the biggest turnaround.
JUAN URIBE, 34, third base
Final 2013 stats: .278 batting average, 12 home runs, 50 RBI and 22 doubles in 388 at-bats, with .331 and .448 on-base and slugging percentages, with five errors.
Contract status: A free agent. A rather interesting free agent.
The good: After two highly disappointing seasons, provided unexpected consistency at the plate and superior defense at third. Tied for fourth on the team in home runs. His .331 on-base percentage was actually a career best. Provided one of the biggest hits of the season with his game-winning two-run homer against the Braves in the division series. One of the most popular players in the clubhouse.
The bad: Disappeared at the plate in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals, going three for 23 (.130). Hit .216 in day games, with just one homer. Something about a 2-2 count gave him trouble (six for 58, one walk).
What’s next: That’s the intriguing question. He’ll be 35 to start next season and his days of a multiyear contract should be over, but there’s not much out there at third base. And someone has to play third for the Dodgers.
The take: The Dodgers may want to bring him back for another year, which must sound crazy to anyone who saw only his first two miserable years with the Dodgers (.199 batting average) and his starting the season on the bench behind Luis Cruz.
They originally signed him to a three-year contract for $21 million, and he was such a disappointment the first two seasons, there was some clamor for him to be released in spring training.
They could move Hanley Ramirez to third, but that just leaves a different hole. They could try and sign shortstop Stephen Drew, but the Red Sox just gave him a qualifying offer, meaning it would cost a No. 1 pick to sign him and more money than he may be worth. The only other free-agent shortstop of real note is Jhonny Peralta, who is coming off a 50-game suspension from the Biogenesis scandal.
You would hate to have to sign Uribe to a multiyear deal with highly regarded infield prospect Corey Seager needing maybe only one more year in the minors. But if Uribe is willing to sign on for one year, he could return.
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