After 2010, the choices for 3B were Casey Blake (out of baseball), Akinori Iwamura (out of baseball), Andy LaRoche, Mguel Cairo, Nick Punto, Aaron Miles,Melvin Mora, Chad Tracy, Adrian Beltre (coming off a .683 OPS season and was given $9mil), Pedro Feliz or Juan Uribe.
After 2011, the free agent 3B market was Dallas McPherson, Aramis Ramirez (who we couldn’t afford) and Beltre again (who we couldn’t afford).
We had no prospects that could contribute at 3B over the next 3 years (which has been proven true).
We had just traded DeWitt for Lilly (which turned out ok, considering where DeWitt is now)
And, most importantly, the 2011, 2012 and 2013 free agent 3B market is totally barren unless David Wright magically doesn’t get his option picked up.
It’s not an overwhelming contract by any means. It’s a contract that suggests a 2 WAR player, which Uribe had been more often than not over his career and was coming off a 3.3 WAR season in 2010.
Ned wasn’t even giving an aging player a three year deal like he did with Casey Blake (that one also turned out fine). Ned paid for Uribe’s age 31, 32 and 33 seasons.
Bottom line: Does it suck that we have to pay Juan Uribe about $10mil more? Of course it does. But this is an Andruw Jones situation where Ned Colletti made a shrewd move given the context of his franchise and the free agent markets both present and future, and the player fucked it up.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re pissed off about the Juan Uribe deal, be mad at Juan Uribe, Ned Colletti deserves a lot of credit for what should have been a successful deal.