Uribe could cash in as 'second' option

Juan Uribe's potential three-year, $21 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers looks like a case of a player being in the right spot to profit at just the right time.

Dodgers 2B
MLB Ranks in 2010

Uribe's presence would fill a major need for the Dodgers at second base, a position at which Los Angeles was lacking in offensive punch, in one respect. His 24 home runs in 2010 ranked seventh among players whose primary spot was middle infield (second base or shortstop) and his .440 slugging percentage was 110 points higher then what the Dodgers got out of second base last season.

However, his .300 career on-base percentage ranks among the bottom six percent of those who have had at least 2,500 plate appearances since 2000.

Uribe rates as an average defender at three positions, which would give the Dodgers some options for usage. His 2010 +/- ratings, which compare how frequently he turned batted balls into outs, were +1 at both second base and shortstop and +2 at third base, basically meaning he got to balls at a rate comensurate with an average to very-slightly-above-average defender.

3 Year Contract, $7 Million Per
Free Agent 2B since 1990-91

Uribe would be the fourth Giants free agent to sign with the Dodgers since the 1998-99 offseason, joining Ricky Ledee (2004-05), Brett Tomko (2005-06), and Jason Schmidt (2006-07). Schmidt got the biggest contract of any Giants free agent to sign with the Dodgers since the 1990-91 offseason, getting a three-year $47 million deal. That deal didn't work out well for the Dodgers as Schmidt battled injuries and spent more time on the sidelines than on the mound.

If we work off the presumption that Uribe would play second base if he signs, it's one of the longer, larger deals awarded to a free agent second baseman recently. The last free agent second baseman to get a three-year deal at an annual salary of $7 million or greater was Bret Boone from the Seattle Mariners in the 2001-02 offseason.