Dodgers pillage Giants for Uribe

From our sister paper in San Jose …

By Andrew Baggarly
San Jose Mercury News
SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Francisco Giants fans had no qualms about turning on Jeff Kent after the former NL Most Valuable Player joined the archrival Dodgers. But it
might be a little tougher for them to chant “Booooo-ree-bay” at AT&T Park next
The Dodgers poached one of the Giants’ World Series heroes Monday, agreeing with
popular infielder Juan Uribe on a three-year, $21 million contract that is pending a
physical. ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report the news.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti seems bent on breaking up as much of the Giants’
World Series championship team as possible. Colletti, a former top lieutenant to
Giants GM Brian Sabean, also had been after first baseman Aubrey Huff before the
Giants matched a two-year, $22 million guaranteed offer to bring him back.
But Sabean wasn’t willing to match the third year of the Dodgers’ offer to Uribe, who
hit .248 with 24 home runs and 85 RBIs, including several clutch hits over the season
and postseason.
Giants vice president Bobby Evans declined to comment on the deal until it became
official, but he indicated the club was ready to look in other directions to find a
starting shortstop for 2011.
“We’re exploring all possibilities on the trade and free-agent front,” Evans said.
“Some of them are the names that have been out there, others are not as
Uribe will remain well-known by fans in the Bay Area long after his career ends. His
solo home run in Game 6 of NLCS broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning, sending the
Giants to their first pennant since 2002. Uribe also hit the sacrifice fly to beat the
Phillies in Game 4 — afterward exclaiming in his limited but poetic English that he
felt “a lot of happy.”
Of Uribe’s 24 homers in the regular season, 11 either tied the score or put the Giants
ahead, most of them coming in the seventh inning or later. None was bigger than his
two-run shot Sept. 4 at Dodger Stadium, when he connected with one out in the ninth
off closer Jonathan Broxton to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 victory.
Giants fans picked up the “Oooo-ree-bay” chant they used in the 1980s for shortstop
Jose Uribe, who was Juan’s late uncle.
Uribe ended up at third base in the postseason, as shortstop Edgar Renteria cracked
the lineup and third baseman Pablo Sandoval became a bench player. But the Giants had
hoped to re-sign Uribe to play short, where he makes routine plays well enough despite
limited range.
The Giants will receive a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds
for losing Uribe, who will greet them in the April 1 season opener at Dodger Stadium.
It is likely the Giants will wait until April 11 to present Uribe with his ring, when
the Dodgers make their first visit to AT&T Park.