Juan Uribe Will Be Productive

IMG 9676 Juan Uribe
(bridgetds  on Flickr)
I know, 2011-2012 existed for Juan Uribe. They happened and unfortunately it probably cost him millions by doing so. There aren't many (from what i've seen) that hate this deal from a length+AAV standpoint, they hate it because he provided two of the all time worst seasons by a Dodger ever.

Lets look why he was that bad in the first place though. Getting hit in the elbow with a Tim Lincecum fastball (this was when he threw above 90 MPH) could derail anyone's season. Straining your hip flexor mid game can't be something good. And it wasn't, he then battled these injuries for the rest of the season.
Looking at his 2012 season, he was just as unlucky and flat out bad. I remember this article when he injured his wrist. Things were bad at this point and fans were talking about "cutting loses and moving on" not even halfway through his big deal. Oh, things didn't get better. He sprained his ankle in June and that seemed to be the last straw, a month later they traded for Hanley Ramirez and that essentially carried him into the Spring where he frantically became a backup 1b and 3b which was kinda nice.

I guess what i'm trying to get at is even though he was one of the worst players in Dodger history, he will be productive going forward. He's a solid player when healthy and this past season (and his career) prove just that. We probably never see what he put up last year ever, but if it were my bet, he'll be a very nice role player on (hopefully a championship) team.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Posted by Adrian Garcia

Juan Uribe Back To The Dodgers

(via Ryan Walton) He's BACK!
According to Ken Rosenthal, Juan Uribe will be back in a Dodger uniform. It's a 2 year deal, details still to come out, but i'm just gonna guess it'll be worth anywhere from 16-20 million dollars total which is okay. I don't think I would have hated Stephen Drew to be the SS, but this is a move for defense. He'll probably provide mediocre offense and very good defense which is just fine for this team. This puts a bit more pressure on Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero to provide a bit more offensively and even more so for Matt Kemp to remain a Dodger.

It's imperative that he stays a Dodger, but this is about Juan Uribe right now. The 3B who was written off by EVERYONE last Spring had fans clamoring for him to come back. I could not believe what had happened this past season, he was about half of a Mike Trout in 2013 which is unfathomable. Simply amazing, he compiled the best WAR of any Dodger 3B since Adrian Beltre in 2004. Wow. It was almost 10 years between the last 5+ WAR season of a Dodger 3B, but Juan Uribe did it. That season will be more trivia than anything as he's not going to come close to that season again, but that's fine.

Steamer has Juan at a 91 wRC+ (so 9% below the league average) with stellar defense and 17 HR's. I'll take that every day of the week from my 3b until Corey Seager (hopefully) is ready and able to contribute as a major league starter. So Steamer has him as a 3 win player. Those aren't really guys you find on the open market, I like this deal mainly because of how awful the market has been.

Oh and I promise not to bag on Colletti, he did a solid job here, only getting him for 2 years, maybe a QO would have been ideal, but I can't fault him that much since he got the job done. Good job all around, the lineup is how (hopefully) set as follows.

Puig-RF

Crawford-LF

Hanley-SS

Kemp-CF

Gonzalez- 1B

Juan Uribe- 3B

AJ Ellis- C

Alexander Guerrero- 2B

Yes please.
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Saturday, December 14, 2013
Posted by Adrian Garcia

Michael Young- Opening Day 3B

Michael Young of the Texas Rangers
Michael Young of the Texas Rangers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Maybe I should have used a picture of Young as a Dodger, but this was too good to pass up

Good Lord, that is just hideous. This is a thing and it may happen, Michael Young may be an option to be the everyday 3B according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Here are his latest tweets about the Dodger situation.
hm...

 Well there has to be some logic to this, maybe this is just a ploy to gain some leverage after Uribe lost a suitor yesterday?

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti (Photo credit: pvsbond)
Oh right, there isn't any logic as long as Ned is the GM. Michael Young may be the opening day 3b, and Ned is probably the reason why. You know, I am naturally skeptical about everything in general, and while the front office has done some great things, especially down on the farm system and internationally, they still don't really inspire confidence. After all of the Matt Kemp trade rumors, the Andre Ethier signing, and the Brandon League signing, allowing Luis Cruz to go into 2013 as the opening day 3b, it's not as if they are immune to stupidity as most people seem to believe. And while all of those were bad decisions, Michael Young would probably be the worst.

Seriously, it's not like there aren't better options out there, literally right now. As terrible as this market is, it's not like the market ends the minute he signs. Besides, Young has been terrible for awhile now. There are many reasons why he is an awful defender, lots of stats could back that up, but in a full season of being in the field season, he compiled an unfathomable -20 DRS at 3B in 890.2 innings. This is bad. Miguel Cabrera in 1234.2 innings saved -18 DRS at 3B. Yes, this is bad.

Michael Young's declining bat and horrid defense is part of the reason he has been worth -1.8 WAR combined the past two seasons. Make no mistake, Young is terrible. Some food for thought, no team with Michael Young on it has ever won a World Series, this tells me about how much his grit is worth.
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Would A Youkilis/Chavez Platoon Be The Worst Thing In The World?

Juan Uribe Spring Training 3.15.13
Juan Uribe Spring Training 3.15.13 (Photo credit: Feelin' Kinda Blue)
There is an increasing chance that Juan Uribe isn't a Dodger come next season. Uribe was of course, a massive part of the 2013 team that advanced to the NLCS, he was one of the most likeable, and productive members of the team, in what was his best season as a professional. However according to Joe Frisario, the Marlins may be reaching out to Juan.
"Miami continues to have interest in Juan Uribe. The Marlins are exploring free agent and trade options to fill their third base need." 

Uribe has pretty much held up the offseason for the Dodgers, which is simply amazing that he's been able to do that, but he has, and here we are, our offseason being threatened by the Marlins. The more I think about it, I am coming to the realization where I actually doubt him signing with the Dodgers. So lets just assume that Uribe actually leaves the Dodgers for more money and a better opportunity for success and a chance to be a part of  young nucleus as opposed to being just another guy on another potential championship squad (remember he already has 2 rings, so this doesn't sound too crazy after all)

So it's probably time to discuss a Kevin Youkilis and Eric Chavez platoon situation. While I doubt the team would actually commit to a true platoon, lets assume they sign both players. I don't think this would be the end of the world, especially considering that you're not going to get anything better on the market.

How am I going to make you feel less awful about these two potentially manning 3b for the Dodgers? Well for starters Kevin Youkilis is a RHB, Eric Chavez is a LHB. That there is something very special, because according to some statistical analysis, hitters normally hit the opposite hand very well. A RHB generally hits LHP's very well and vice versa. And in this case, that incredible theory applies. I'm not going to pretend this isn't flawed, because looking at career stats from players in their mid 30's may not be a great idea, but the point is that you see that Youkilis and Chavez are capable of manning a platoon together. 

Eric Chavez is an interesting case in that I have no idea what he'll come close to in FA, if it took a 2 year deal to sign him at a relatively low AAV, I don't think i'd hate it but there's always the chance of a desperate Ned overpay. Chavez is an excellent hitter career wise versus Right Handed Pitching, his  .854 OPS and  123 wRC+ suggest he can mash RHP, and has proven so. And while it's true that every player will experience decline due to aging, look at his splits in his last 3 seasons against RHP, .829 OPS is something i'd take from a 3b. I don't think it's unfair to think he can OPS at a clip between .750-.850 next season based off of his recent success as an aging position player.

Now for Kevin Youkilis, he's coming off back surgery, and has stated he wants to play closer to home on the west coast. Seeing as how the Angels got their man in David Freese, Chase Headley, Pablo Sandoval, Josh Donaldson, and Kyle Seager exist, the only real team with an immediate need at the hot corner are the Dodgers.
If you didn't understand how terrible it is, it should tell you something that Justin Sellers is projected to get 700 PA's at a position. Something needs to be done, this is ridiculous. This is where Kevin Youkilis comes in, Youkilis carries an excellent 140 wRC+ against left handed pitching, that's 40% better than the league average. That's best hitter in the league type numbers against LHP. This is quelled by the fact his back exploded on him in 2013 so the .860 OPS compiled against LHP in the last 3 seasons should be taken with a grain of salt, but still, Justin Sellers...

So the idea of Youk/Chavez sharing a spot, mashing opposite handed pitching while having league average defense at that position (Chavez's above average glove+ Youk's mediocre glove cancel out for the most part) would give you anywhere from 3-4 WAR which is something that would be underrated, and one that may even be more effective than just Juan Uribe alone.

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Friday, December 13, 2013
Posted by Adrian Garcia

Don't Fret, On Masahiro Tanaka, Yet

This Guy May Or May Not Be Posted. Stay Tuned. 

This is nothing final, so don't feel awful yet. In fact, this wasn't even a post from the guys who run Lonestarball, it was a fanpost. Apparently, Masahiro Tanaka, the best pitcher in Japan is in real danger of not getting posted. The article that the whole thing is based on essentially states that the team president Hiroshi Mikitani is very hesitant to the idea that he'll only get 20 million out of posting Masahiro Tanaka.

Look at the article, and tell me that's not a little bit fishy. There is nothing new here, of course people are going to overreact, but the fact is, nothing in that article states anything definitive enough to make a clear ruling on his future. Whether he will be posted or not, it doesn't really matter because this article isn't really saying anything.

What I found interesting was the quote this article used. Apparently they read Peter Gammons's piece on this whole situation. The Gammon(s) article that was quoted goes as follows (google translate so bear with me):

"Rakuten Hiroshi Kitani three owners ( 48) , has declared that there is no intention to apply to the posting system Tanaka in an interview with the U.S. journalist . The 9th , a long interview with Mr. Peter Gammon , a prominent baseball journalists posted on the site of his . Is the owner , stating that made ​​it clear "I am not going to be applied to the posting ( Tanaka ) he " and was written in the 4th this month ."

The part that got me was that this piece wasn't even written today, it was written Wednesday. If something final were made about his future, you better bet that it would have come out by now.

So I guess the moral of the story is to not treat SBNation fanposts like gospel. They can be quite inaccurate, Tanaka may still not be posted, but lets not rush to judgements over an article written 2 days ago, spewing out the same information that has been made public for awhile.
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Posted by Adrian Garcia

Quickly Destroying The Idea Of Guerrero Anywhere Other Than 2B

(via Chad Moriyama)
When you think of terrible defense in the infield, you normally think of some terrible teams. It seems quite improbable that a good team would have an infield with even 2 liabilities, let alone on the same side of the diamond. Most of the hitters in the game are right handed (around 57% of all plate appearances). Now, because of the handedness they bat with, if a right handed batter hits a ground ball, there's a decent chance the ball is either going to the Third Baseman, or the Shortstop. So logic would tell us that you should put your best defenders at those two positions, 3B isn't called the "hot corner" for no reason.

One thing I am concerned about is the chance that Alexander Guerrero playing SS or 3B opening day. That scares me quite a bit. Guerrero isn't hailed as a "plus defender" he isn't even projected to be able to handle SS at the major league level. Here is an excerpt from his scouting report done by International Prospect guru, Ben Badler.

 "[Some] scouts think he can stay in the middle of the infield, although shortstop is probably out of the question. His hands and actions are playable but he doesn't have the first-step quickness or range to play shortstop and he can be a bit stiff in the field. Second base could be an option for him and a team that likes him a lot will probably play him there."

Not too encouraging. Being "stiff in the field", "not much range", or "first-step quickness" aren't necessarily qualities that lend itself to an adequate major league SS. No scout projects him to be able to handle SS at a major league level, and no just because SS is his "natural position" doesn't make him a candidate to play there. Asdrubal Cabrera's natural position is SS, Carlos Santana's natural position is C, Adam Dunn's natural position is 1B, this doesn't mean they should be playing there, Aramis Ramirez's natural position is 3b, doesn't necessarily mean he should be playing there.

You can also forget about the notion that he'll be playing 3b.
Which makes sense, Cuban Defector straight off the island, is playing 2b in winter ball, and we expect him to be a major league caliber 3B? Insanity, besides his bat wouldn't necessarily play very well at 3b, it's better suited for 2b. There are tons of reasons not to trust Guerrero at SS or 3b, and he hasn't even played a game in the majors, yet.

A quick rebuttal to the argument that Hanley Ramirez should be playing 3b. Well i'm not completely opposed to this idea, but you're gonna need to get a Elvis Andrus type player from the Rangers in order to make me happy. You can live with a mediocre defender in the IF, and it's not terrible to have him at 3b (Aramis Ramirez anyone?), but you need a defensive wizard at SS like Andrus to compensate. People say how Hanley wouldn't get injured at 3B and it would be easier on his body.

Welp...

Also in 860 innings at the major league level, he's been a pretty terrible 3B, with -11 DRS and a -8 UZR. He's just not a good defender in general and to think otherwise is foolish.

Guerrero and Hanley on one side of the diamond would be death to the defense and pitchers ERA's (!).
Posted by Adrian Garcia

Assembling A Steve Cishek Trade Package

I'm very selfish and want as many closer type relievers on the roster, because if it's between Jamey Wright, Jose Dominguez, and a guy like Steve Cishek, i'm choosing the guy who has the proven veteranness and amazing saves.

Seriously though, Cishek has been an excellent reliever. Guys who keep the ball in the yard, get +50% groundballs, have close to 3/1 K/BB ratios, while striking out 9.36 of the batters they face are generally going to be among the premium relievers in the game. With his really funky sidearm delivery, he has compiled a sub 3 ERA in every single season he has pitched in.

I'll concede the Marlins are more than likely not going to move him until next offseason, as he'll be up for arbitration for the first time. Super cheap relievers who are among the best in the game and under club control for 5 more seasons aren't really guys who get moved, even with a franchise as terrible as the Marlins.

But, lets take a moment to realize how electric the Dodgers bullpen would be with Cishek. Cishek throws a 91-94 mph sinker and an electric slider with a change. He has "closer stuff" which is probably the reason he's racked up 34 saves (!!) in 2013.

Mattingly can throw out Cishek-Wilson- Jansen to essentially make any game the dodgers play in a 6 inning game. Oh and by the way, you still have Withrow and Paco as two great options in the pen.

Now I know that the prospect cost will likely be less than ideal, but I really like Cishek. He's an incredible pitcher, one with a proven track record which is something Ned loves. I'd offer Yimi Garcia, minor league player of the year Scott Schebler, and Chris Reed, see what the Marlins say. Nothing of Stripling's caliber, but see if those three would get it done.

(per)

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Posted by Adrian Garcia

THANK YOU ALEXANDER GUERRERO

I would have broken things had this trade gone down. My goodness such an awful idea.  Of course the likelihood of this actually happening was essentially non existent. Kemp is at least a bat-first OF who has some very good power and will OPS at an .800 clip. Phillips, well, not so much. Lets take a look at his stats this season. Look at how awful he really was

Doesn't walk at all, he was 9% worse than any other hitters in the league (this includes his positional adjustment) besides, it wasn't like Phillips was that much better than Mark Ellis last season. Both have all world defense (although, not unrealistic to believe that Phillips will soon be declining), a 32 point OPS differential, but Phillips was paid 12.5 million as opposed to 5.25 million. And lets not mention how big of a mouth Phillips has. Remember him cussing out a Cincinnatti Reds reporter because they felt it may have been time to move him in the lineup? That .310 OBP wasn't doing much for him I guess. Having Choo and Votto hitting in front of you could make Luis Cruz into a 100 RBI guy. Incredible how people look at that and say he's a great hitter. He's not.

Regardless, the title of this post is a very kind thanks to Alexander Guerrero, the idea of Phillips being a Dodger, regardless of the return would be awful, so thanks Guerrero for not having the Dodgers subjected to the joke Brandon Phillips is.

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