Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Callaspo doesn't hesitate to block deal to Dodgers

Juan Uribe was THIS close to becoming an ex-Dodger today.

The only problem was that Alberto Callaspo didn't want to become a current one.

After the Dodgers and Braves agreed to a deal centered around swapping the third basemen and a few minor league players, Callaspo quickly put an end to it, as he rejected the trade.  It's not because he has a no-trade clause (far from it), it's because he had until June 15 to refuse any deal since he signed as a free agent this past offseason.

And you know what?  I don't blame Callaspo at all.

Think about it - For a guy who wants more playing time, isn't the Dodgers one of the last places to go?  Considering there's Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero already battling for at-bats, and Hector Olivera readying himself for the call-up, Callaspo would be nothing more than a pinch-hitting option late in the game.

It wasn't too long ago when Callaspo was a solid hand for the Angels, hitting .288 in 2011, then following that up with 10 homers and 53 RBIs the next season.  Last season with the A's his numbers went way down to .223/4/39, and this season with the Braves is even worse at .208/1/8.

Nonetheless, Callaspo appears to be fixated on getting more playing time somewhere else, and that's well within his rights.  Andrew Friedman liked him off the bench because he keeps his strikeouts low and has a career .328 OBP.  But, it wasn't meant to be.

Now the focus turns to Uribe, and what the Dodgers now do with him.  He's had one of the most bizarre careers in Dodgers' history, going from absolutely pathetic in 2011 and 2012, to reinvigorating himself at the plate and nearly winning a Gold Glove twice the last two seasons.  This season, though, he's down to .247 and a .287 OBP in 29 games, and is clearly getting passed over for Turner and Guerrero.

So, it should come as no surprise that Friedman is ready to let him go.  His glove is excellent, but at 36, in his 15th season, and with a recent history of leg injuries, it's not looking like he'll be the everyday third baseman again.

I wouldn't expect this to be the last of trying to move Uribe, as the younger, better options are making it necessary.

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