While it does seem like Juan Uribe has priced himself out for now, the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels are still looking into the possibility of signing him, hoping his demands become a little bit more realistic the closer we get to the beginning of the season.
Uribe did very well in his short time with the New York Mets last season, a campaign in which he began playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers before being traded to the Atlanta Braves, followed by an inner-division move to the Mets. In 44 games with the Mets he hit six home runs (14 overall in 118 games in 2015) with 20 RBIs, making up for batting just .219 for the eventual NL pennant winners, but losers in the World Series.
Uribe has mostly played at third base in recent years, and the Indians have been monitoring him with that position in mind. However, the soon to be 37-year old doesn’t seem to be in some sort of rush to sign with a team. He made $6.5 million last season and overall posted a .253 batting average and .737 OPS while driving in 43 runs. Not great, but still pretty good, and he thinks he can be as good for his next team, maybe even better, putting up nice numbers in 46 games for the Braves last season, including 7 home runs.
The Angels, unlike the Indians, aren’t that limited financially, but aren’t going to overspend on Uribe, who has played in just 497 games over the last five seasons. He can still get on base and demonstrate some power when his swing is going well, but considering he doesn’t want too much of a drop off from what he made last season, right now he stands far apart from signing a deal.
Seeing as the 39-year old Bronson Arroyo signed an incentive-heavy contract with the Washington Nationals, which earns him $2 million if he makes the 40-man roster (minor league contract) and up to $8 million if he marks a check on all of his potential bonuses, maybe that’s something that can be settled with Uribe. Not a minor league contract (he’s not coming off 16 months of inactivity) but a smaller base salary with incentives that could take his final pay check to the amounts he’s gotten used to making in recent years.