COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Dodgers have given out their fair share of bad contracts. All teams have over time, but the Dodgers have been particularly snake-bitten in recent years.
General manager Ned Colletti has missed badly on some deals, including Jason Schmidt's 3-year, $47 million deal prior to the 2006 season, Juan Pierre's 5-year, $44 million deal before the 2007 season and Andruw Jones' 2-year, $36.2 million commitment before the 2008 season. Normally, those kinds of misses would get a GM fired, but not Colletti. And while these deals are horrible -- especially in hindsight -- one deal stands out as the worst.
Juan Uribe, three years, $21 million.
Words could not describe my disgust, hatred and sheer rage when hearing about the deal. It wasn't just because Uribe was a former Giant and he was coming off a World Series win, but also because Uribe just isn't good at baseball.
Coming into the 2011 season, Uribe had a career .256/.300/.431 triple slash, which isn't that bad for a middle infielder (even if a .300 on-base percentage is not great). But the Dodgers signed him to play third base, a position that's been a revolving door since Adrian Beltre signed with the Seattle Mariners after the 2004 season.
Uribe's first two years with the Dodgers produced this triple slash: .199/.262/.289. That's ridiculous, and not in the good way. The Dodgers have paid $13 million half a win in Uribe's first two years. Talk about market inefficiency.
Uribe does nothing well on the baseball field. His arm is his best tool, and it's probably the least-important tool in a player's box. The guy simply cannot hit, and it makes me dislike him more than I already did before the team signed him.
The worst part about his contract is the Dodgers were in penny-pinching mode still when the deal was consummated. Frank McCourt was still the owner and Colletti was making poor decisions with his budgeted money. Thankfully, the new ownership group has lifted the restriction and Colletti can make up for his potential future mistakes (some would plug in Brandon League here, but I would not).
Instead of giving the money to another player, or saving that money for a different player in another year of free agency, Colletti blew it all on Uribe. He felt the need to waste $21 million, so he figured, "Why not a World Series champion who is 'clutch?'"
That's the biggest misnomer of all -- the clutch Uribe. He had two big hits in the 2010 series. That's it. But if you talk to any Giant fan, all you'll hear is "clutch!" But I digress.
Thankfully, Uribe's deal is up at the end of the 2013 season, assuming he makes it through the season on the active roster. But the Dodgers will still be on the hook for $1 million in 2014, as that money is deferred.
Deferred money -- hopefully something Dodger fans will never have to associate with this club ever again.
While the franchise has a lot of options for worst contract, Uribe's deal takes the cake, which he probably ate.
Dustin Nosler has followed the Dodgers from Northern California all his life. He's the founder of Feelin' Kinda Blue, a Dodger blog. He also co-hosts "Dugout Blues," a weekly Dodger podcast. Find him on Twitter @FeelinKindaBlue.
- Sports & Recreation
- Juan Uribe
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ned Colletti