Free agent third baseman Juan Uribe has signed a two-year contract to remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The deal is worth a total of $15 million, per Buster Olney of ESPN.
Uribe spent the last three seasons with the Dodgers after signing with the club prior to the 2011 campaign. His tenure in Los Angeles has had its ups and downs. Uribe was hampered by injuries in his first two years with the team, and eventually lost his starting job midway through 2012. Overall, he batted .199/.262/.289 with six home runs in 143 games in those two seasons. He bounced back in 2013, though, appearing in 132 games and hitting .278/.331/.438 with 12 long balls.
Uribe is also a strong defender at the hot corner, and he had a career year in the field in 2013 according to defensive metrics UZR and DRS. The combination of above-average hitting and sterling glove-work made Uribe a very valuable player last season -- 4.1 WAR according to Baseball-Reference and 5.1 by the measure of Fangraphs.
Uribe, 34, also provided some postseason heroics last fall. In Game 4 of the NLDS, with Los Angeles leading the best-of-five series against the Atlanta Braves two-games-to-one but trailing in the game 3-2, the right-hander swatted a go-ahead two-run home run off of David Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth inning. The blast proved to be the game-winner, as L.A. held on for a 4-3 victory to clinch a spot in the NLCS. One Dodgers player called it the "organization's biggest [home run] since Gibson," according to Rosenthal, in reference to Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Power has always been Uribe's calling card. He has hit 169 home runs over his 13-year career; his .167 isolated power mark helps make up for his paltry .253 career batting average and .299 OBP. Before they re-signed Uribe, the Dodgers had also considered free agent Michael Young as an option at third base, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Young appeared in 21 games for Los Angeles in 2013 after being acquired from the Phillies in late August.