When I saw "Uribe waived" after getting back from a food science test, I thought it was a practical joke.
Ever since Danny Richar had visa issues and Ozzie Guillen criticized Alexei Ramirez's defense, I've been under the impression that Uribe would be the starting second baseman for the White Sox come March 31st.
The fact that Uribe had been praised by the White Sox coaching staff for his work ethic after being displaced by Orlando Cabrera only furthered that notion in my mind.
That's why I thought it was a joke when I saw that Uribe was placed on irrevocable waivers today.
Granted, I wasn't too thrilled with the notion of Uribe being the starting second baseman for the Sox this year. He's always been a low-average, high strikeout hitter who can belt 20 home runs and drive in around 70 runs.
His biggest problem has been inconsistency—one week, he'll be hitting everything with authority, the next week, he'll be missing low-and-away sliders by 10 feet.
Uribe was hitting well this spring at a .333 clip and had a six-game hitting streak prior to this move.
To further the mystery, Ramirez has been playing more outfield lately, while Richar has been extremely unimpressive since coming to camp late, battling back issues and struggling at the plate.
So what gives?
Let's assume that Uribe doesn't get claimed. If that's the case, the Sox will have to pay all of the one-year, $4.5 million contract he signed in the offseason. So, it doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint.
They wouldn't even get any low-level prospects back in exchange for Uribe.
There are a few of reasons to explain why this move was made:
1. Opening up a roster spot for Jason Bourgeois.
Bourgeois has impressed the White Sox brass this spring and seems to be somewhat of a Pablo Ozuna clone.
2. Handing the starting 2B job to Ramirez.
The Sox have been racking their brains trying to find a way to get Ramirez on this team for the last week. Maybe they just gave up on trying to trade Uribe and waived him so Ramirez could take over at second base.
3. There's a trade on the horizon.
The White Sox have been rumored to be interested in Brian Roberts, but Baltimore's asking price is far too high for an organization with no top-100 prospects.
Oakland's Mark Ellis would make a lot of sense if the Sox didn't have to give up an insane amount of talent as they did in the Nick Swisher trade.
I'll be sad to see Uribe go. Despite his glaring lack of production, I always enjoyed watching him play.
Uribe was one of the goofiest players I've ever seen play the game, with his unorthodox style of fielding and his penchant for throwing his hands in the air—palms out—after making good contact.
Of course, he made the final two outs of the 2005 World Series, starting with his incredible catch into the Houston crowd. If that had been Derek Jeter making that play, it would have gone down as one of the best catches in World Series history.
Uribe followed that up by charging a high chopper up the middle and firing a strike to first base to give the White Sox their first World Series title in 88 years.
But this is 2008, not 2005. It'll be interesting to see what the Sox do in the next few days regarding this situation.
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