Rumor Mill – Winter Meetings: the amusing Uribe mess, Kemp trade talks add a team, thoughts on Price

JuanUribeSIR

Juan Uribe has had a confusing day, though the Dodgers weren’t really involved in it. Neither him or the team were publicly active, but the journalists reporting about his status certainly have been.

I mean, what does MLB Trade Rumors exist for if not for sequences like this?

9:53am: The Marlins are interested in adding Juan Uribe to fill their hole at third base, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

10:26am: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Dodgers and White Sox are also pushing to land Uribe (Twitter link).

11:05am: Rojas tweets that the Dodgers have offered one year with an option, while the White Sox are willing to go to two years.

11:33am: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren’t currently showing interest in Uribe.

12:15pm: Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times and Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune both report that the White Sox aren’t in on Uribe (Twitter links).

The latter report on the White Sox not having interest does mirror what was said about their involvement yesterday as well. But the Marlins not being interested is new.

Regardless, in the course of less than three hours, Uribe picked up two other suitors besides the Dodgers and then lost both rumored suitors, thus leaving only the Dodgers, but Uribe still hasn’t signed with the Dodgers.

HOT STOVE! IT’S A MESS!

On the last point though, why isn’t Uribe signing with the Dodgers, right? Well, Ned Colletti seems just as confused and is losing patience.

Monday, Colletti was growing impatient with the lack of action from Uribe’s camp. “They’re more inclined to talk at this point about getting something done,” Colletti said.

With the third base market the way it is, I don’t think the team can actually can walk away, but it’s Colletti’s way of saying shit or get off the pot.

One possibility is that Uribe’s agents are leaking the rumors of him to the Marlins and White Sox to try and create a market for their client. Doesn’t seem to be working all that well though.

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Colletti also spoke up about Matt Kemp and said he expects him to be better prepared for the season in 2014 than he was in 2013.

Colletti said the team expects outfielder Matt Kemp to be in better shape at the start of the upcoming spring training than he was the previous season. This time, Kemp is coming off two surgeries — ankle and shoulder — instead of one, but he has been able to lift weights for the past month, an activity that was curtailed after a more invasive shoulder surgery in 2012.

This can be read two ways, as either Colletti wants to assure teams that may have been scared off by Kemp’s medicals that he’ll be ready to produce come the regular season, or he’s just confident that Kemp will come back and be productive for the Dodgers.

Either way, it only makes sense that he field all offers, but a trade doesn’t seem imminent.

The Dodgers want a quality return, which only makes sense, but given his contract and his health status, it’s hard for many teams except the Dodgers to take that risk on him right now.

As reported before, the Red Sox are probably out of the Kemp race for good.

However, now the Tigers might be added to the mix.

So that leaves us with the Orioles, Tigers, Rangers, and Mariners, but still nothing serious.

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The David Price to the Dodgers rumors won’t go away, as one GM speculates that the Dodgers might be the front-runners for him yet.

One GM theorized to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter links) that the Dodgers are in a favorable position to land Rays ace David Price. He believes that the Mariners won’t give up Taijuan Walker and the D’Backs will say no to including Archie Bradley in a deal. L.A. can’t offer a prospect as good as those two, but they can offer some combination of Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and pitching. Based on yesterday’s comments, Rangers GM Jon Daniels doesn’t sound as though he’s going to make a big play for Price.

Again, blowing up the farm for him doesn’t make all that much sense, even if he is a potential Cy Young Award winner. The Dodgers are trying to build a workable foundation behind what little top tier prospects they have at the moment, and this isn’t trading for weakness from strength, it’s trading from mediocrity to strength.

Fortunately, Colletti doesn’t seem all that focused on Price.

“That’s not where our concentration is right now,” Colletti said.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on Price. I’m down on the price for Price.

While true that prospects exist to help the MLB club any way they can, having a lack of impact players in the system can destroy a franchise’s long-term future, and trading away almost every last one of them in a single deal is one way to accomplish that destruction.

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- Don Mattingly doesn’t want to talk about his contract status.

- MLB and NPB have agreed to the previously reported posting system.

- Rakuten Golden Eagles President Yozo Tachibana still isn’t sure if the team will post Masahiro Tanaka.

- Michael Young is a utility infielder candidate … because there is no god.

- Those Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez extension talks everybody is waiting for? They aren’t even happening until after the Winter Meetings.

- If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the MLB finding ways to minimize the earning potential and limit the opportunities of teenagers who want to play baseball. So they’ve agreed to do away with the six international signing exemptions for deals up to $50,000.

About Chad Moriyama

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