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Yankees 2016 Potential Free Agent Target: Juan Uribe

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The well-traveled infielder would definitely be a valuable bench player to add.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

2015 Statistics: 397 PA, .253/.320/.417, 17 2B, 14 HR, 34 BB, 80 K, 104 wRC+

2016 Age: 37

Position: Third base/Second base

Over the past few years, the Yankees have been hard at work revamping their infield from what it was even two years ago. Derek Jeter has retired from shortstop. Alex Rodriguez has moved on from the hot corner to a DH-only role. Robinson Cano was allowed to walk as a free agent, and they will likely let Mark Teixeira follow suit after 2016. Taking their places are three players in their mid-twenties: Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro, and Greg Bird. Fellow twenty-somethings Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder are also available to back up. Third baseman Chase Headley is the old man of the bunch, but by normal Yankee standards, 32 is fresh.

This youth movement is all well and good, but there is still a glaring hole on the depth chart. As of right now, the Yankees have no real backup for Headley at third. A-Rod is not an option at this point, and neither Ackley or Refsnyder have ever played there. Ackley simply doesn't have the arm for it, and given Refsnyder's defensive struggles shifting from right field to second base, a relatively easier position, asking him to quickly learn another one would be a bad plan. Prospect Eric Jagielo still needs some serious work at third, too. Brian Cashman indicated that as of now, Headley's backup would be Castro, who is athletic enough to learn third base quickly given his experience at shortstop.

However, there is an obvious solution on the free agent market who would not only fill the void behind Headley at third but also provide a badly needed power bat from the right side on the bench. It's time for 15-year veteran Juan Uribe to finally become a Yankee.

Uribe has put together a quietly awesome career since debuting with the Rockies in 2001. A shortstop for the first half of his career, Uribe played a major role on the 2005 Chicago White Sox team that broke the franchise's 88-year championship drought, as he slugged 16 homers in the regular season, hit .286/.362/.476 in the playoffs, and provided superb defense, including this absolutely outstanding catch in the stands just before they finished their World Series sweep. He slumped for the next few years, but reemerged on another championship team that broke a long drought: the 2010 San Francisco Giants. Uribe hit a career-high 24 homers and added two more in the playoffs as he won his second World Series ring.

Afterwards, Uribe signed a three-year contract with the rival Dodgers. The next two seasons were utter nightmares as he battled injuries and lost his place in the starting lineup. This did not deter Uribe, who became an absolutely beloved figure in the at-times tense Dodgers clubhouse. Writer Molly Knight raved about Uribe's leadership, which became incredibly value when controversial rookie Yasiel Puig entered the fray. His teammates were overjoyed when he had a comeback season in 2013, batting .278/.331/.438 with 36 extra base hits, a 116 wRC+, and 4.1 WAR in 132 games as the Dodgers won the NL West. In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves he slugged perhaps the biggest homer of his career, as his two-run blast off David Carpenter put the Dodgers ahead and avoided a potential Game 5 in Atlanta.

Uribe has maintained steady production during his late-career renaissance, as he's hit .281/.329/.432 with 35 homers in 354 games since 2013 with a 114 OPS+. Last year, Uribe bounced from the Dodgers to the cellar-dwelling Braves to the NL champion Mets, who also spoke highly about his character. More importantly, Uribe is capable of filling in at both third base and second base, two positions where the Yankees could definitely use some more support.

While there are some injury concerns that come with just about any player in his late thirties, Uribe has still managed to play in over 100 games each of the past three years. He would probably only be needed to play that many games if Headley got hurt anyway. Uribe seems willing to accept a lesser role at this point in his career, so the Yankees should really seek him out for this bench role. The fact that he's had a knack for dramatic playoff home runs during his career only makes him even better.

So Uribe would provide a real backup for Headley, he is a well-respected veteran, and he has righthanded pop off the bench on a team laden with lefties. What's not to like? Just read the official Juan Uribe Free Agency Book. Uribe would be a wonderful fit for this team.