Uribe to Dodgers
Jose Uribe, coming off a career best season of 24 homers and 85 RBI, signed a 3-year deal for $21 million to leave the World Champion San Francisco Giants (it’s still an amazing feeling to write that), to move south to join the Dodgers. He now becomes a hated player in this writers’ household as he joined the Dodgers placing his name alongside the likes of Benedict Arnold.
Now I’m not saying that the Giants should have matched the offer, they certainly should not have. It’s too much money, and too many years for Uribe. Why the Dodgers would give him that contract for Uribe to play second base is also a mystery. They already have 37 year old Casey Blake at third, and an aging an injury prone Rafael Furcal at short which means that Uribe will play second base. He’ll give them ample power for that spot (he’ll still qualify at third and shortstop in fantasy baseball 2011 as well), but let’s put things in perspective.
Uribe is a career .256 hitter who batted .248 last season.
Uribe never walks. His career-high was in 2010 when he walked all of 45 times. As a result, his OBP is .300 for his career. Not his batting average, his OBP. That’s dreadful when you consider that the league average since 2001. the start of his career, is .337.
Though he has hit 20-homers four times, he has averaged only 17 homers per 500 at-bats in his career. Speaking of 500 at-bats, he has only eclipsed that mark twice (2007 and 2010), and his career SLG of .431 is just five points better than the league average during his career.
Uribe also has no speed with only seven steals the last five seasons.
Only once in three years has he hit more than 16 homers.
Only once in three years has he scored more than 50 runs.
Only once in three years has he had more than 55 RBI.
Only once in three years has he hit over .250.
To wrap it up, the Dodger gave a 33 year old versatile infielder who has averaged, per 500 at-bats in his career a line of.256-17-69-63 with a .731 OPS, $7 million a year for three years. I can’t envision a scenario where they don’t end up regretting that.
Torrealba to Rangers
Yorvit Torrealba left the Padres to join the Rangers as he signed a 2-year deal for $6.25 million. Yorvit will replace Bengie Molina as the Rangers #1 man behind the dish (it’s not known if Molina will retire or look for another deal).
Torrealba had a Catcher’s ERA of 3.14 in 2010, and that was the best mark in Padres history for a catcher who appeared in 81 or more games. It was also the lowest since Paul Lo Duca posted the same mark in 2003 for the Dodgers. The Rangers had the 4th best ERA in the AL in 2010 with a 3.93 mark, so Yorvit will have a solid staff to work with.
As for his offense, it’s pretty fair for a catcher. It’s always hard to tell how good a guy is when his playing time is sporadic, and that is certainly the case with Torrealba who has had only one season in his career of more than 325 at-bats. Torrealba has 538 at-bats the past two years, basically a full season, an in that time he has hit .279 with nine homers, 68 RBI, 58 runs and a .725 OPS. He also moves from arguably the worst hitting park in baseball in San Diego for one of the best in Texas, and that should certainly help his production. All told, he is a sure fire starting in AL-only leagues, and he has a legit shot to be a solid second catcher in mixed leagues as well, especially if he is able to increase his at-bat total a bit. This deal, unlike the one given to Uribe, seems like a really good move for the Rangers, especially when a guy like John Buck got 3-years and $18 million from the Marlins.
By Ray Flowers