Juan Uribe to Indians: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

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Juan Uribe to Indians: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

After making stops with three different teams in 2015, Juan Uribe will hope to stay put in Cleveland as the team announced the signing of the infielder on Sunday.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal first reported the two sides were in agreement on Feb. 19. ESPN's Buster Olney reported the deal is worth just shy of $5 million.

Uribe, who turns 37 in March, split last season between the Braves, Dodgers and Mets. He finished the campaign in New York, filling in for an injured David Wright following a July trade. In 119 games split between the three teams, Uribe hit .253/.320/.417 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI. The Mets limited him to just one postseason at-bat following Wright's return.

That benching along with Uribe's scattershot play in 2015 contributed to his being on the market longer than expected. Per Olney, the Cleveland Indians were most regularly mentioned as a potential suitor, especially given their needs offensively.

"We're looking at what the alternatives are out there," general manager Mike Chernoff said in an interview that aired on MLB Network, per Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. "You can always try to improve your team. There are still guys out there who haven't signed and could help us. So we're actively engaged with those players."

Despite his inconsistent play in 2015, Uribe's previous two campaigns make him worth the risk. He compiled 8.6 wins above replacement in 2013 and 2014 combined, flashing solid work offensively and defensively. Those two seasons represented the two best of his entire career. Even if they're an anomaly overall, they should signal that he's more than capable of filling a rotational role.

The protection afforded Uribe in Los Angeles' lineup won't be available in Cleveland, but the Indians are not expecting him to be a superstar. He'll be worth his contract even if he winds up producing the same WAR (1.9) he did last season. Given the upheaval he went through in playing for three teams, a mild improvement should be the expectation.

That said, Father Time is undefeated. Don't be surprised if Uribe's 2015 campaign was a sign of things to come. 

 

WAR courtesy of FanGraphs.

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