Dodgers have a third baseman ... for now

So Juan Uribe arrived in spring training this morning, but he's only going to be here for a couple of days. He has to fly up to San Francisco on Monday, which is the tentative trial date for a lawsuit that has been filed against him by his former landlord stemming from alleged damage to the apartment he rented during the 2010 season while a member of the Giants. The Dodgers are scheduled for their first full-squad workout on Tuesday, meaning there is a strong likelihood Uribe will miss the first workout and possibly a few others while getting this matter resolved.

All of which raises the question of why this matter isn't already resolved. The plaintiff is suing Uribe in the amount of $145,000. Uribe is in the second season of a three-year, $21 million contract and will receive an $8 million salary this year. That means $145,000 is less than 2 percent of his salary for this year, and an out-of-court settlement of this suit presumably would be in an amount less than the amount Uribe is being sued for.

My first thought, then, was why not just settle the thing and be done with it? So I asked him. And here is what he said, through an interpreter:

``I really don't want to talk about that. That is why I have a lawyer. Sometimes, you don't like to (go to court), but we just haven't been able to reach an agreement.''

On another note, Uribe says he feels fine now after missing the final 2 1/2 months and a total of three months last season with a sports hernia that eventually required surgery. Barring something unforeseen, he will begin the season as the Dodgers' regular third baseman. When he did play last year, he hit .204 with a .264 on-base percentage, 12 doubles, four homers and 28 RBI.