Could Juan Uribe be the Indians’ next third baseman?
The Cleveland Indians are said to be "targeting" free agent Juan Uribe to fill a vacancy at third base.
Uribe remains on the market, and ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday that the Indians are very much interested in obtaining his services:
The Indians continue to target Juan Uribe, in the hope that he'll be their third baseman.Article continues below ...
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 2, 2016
Uribe, 36, spent 2015 with three clubs: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. Combined, he hit .253/.320/.417 with 14 home runs, 43 RBI and his trademark larger-than-life personality.
The Indians, meanwhile, are looking for offensive support as well as a player who might take some of the pressure off young infielder Giovanny Urshela – something Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com pointed out recently. If he were signed, Uribe would ostensibly play third a few times a week and provide some clubhouse leadership, something for which he’s very well known.
Hoynes mentioned another aspect of signing Uribe that might intrigue the Tribe: He isn’t attached to draft pick compensation like several other free agents.
Something to also consider with Uribe is the fact that wherever he goes, he seems to win. He was part of the 2005 Chicago White Sox (who won the World Series), the 2010 San Francisco Giants (who won the World Series), spent four full seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2011 until early 2015 (and made trips to the postseason in 2013 and 2014) and then the 2015 Mets (who won the NL pennant).
The Indians finished last season 81-80 and are poised to potentially make some noise in 2016, setting the stage for Uribe’s potential arrival.
For what it’s worth, Hoynes quotes GM Mike Chernoff as addressing the team’s need for offense:
Will that signing be Uribe? Time will tell.