LA Dodgers trade third baseman Juan Uribe to Atlanta

May 27, 2015

The Los Angeles Dodgers today dealt veteran third baseman Juan Uribe and right-handed pitcher Chris Withrow to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for infielder Alberto Callaspo, left-handed reliever Ian Thomas, minor league right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime, and left-handed pitcher Eric Stults.

Callaspo was in uniform for the Dodgers tonight, wearing No. 5, while Los Angeles optioned Thomas to Triple-A Oklahoma City, assigned Jaime to extended Spring Training in Arizona, and designated Stults for assignment.

The loss of Uribe could be significant to the Dodgers playoff hopes this season.  Uribe is an outstanding defensive player who has shown a clutch playoff bat in previous seasons.  Uribe left his mark in Dodger postseason lore with a dramatic eighth-inning, two-run homer in Los Angeles’ 4-3, series-clinching win over Atlanta in Game 4 of the 2013 National League Division Series.  He also was one of the more popular players in the Dodgers' locker room.

Uribe, 36, batted .260 with 28 home runs and 155 RBI in 407 games with the Dodgers from 2011-15, originally signing with the club as a free agent on Nov. 30, 2010. During his time with the Dodgers, he posted a .979 fielding percentage at second and third base and was twice honored as a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year (2013 & 2014).

However, this season he saw limited action not only because of injury, but also due to the electric bat of rookie Cuban import Alex Guerrero. Infielder Justin Turner also had seen significant time this year at the hot corner, and the recent signing of Cuban Hector Olivera only further exacerbated the logjam.

Withrow, 26, was on the 60-day disabled list and last pitched on May 20, 2014 before being sidelined by Tommy John surgery and off-season lower back surgery. He appeared in 46 games with the Dodgers in two seasons from 2013-14, going 3-0 with one save and a 2.73 ERA, and was originally selected by the club in the first round (20th overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

As for whether the Dodgers received equal value in return is debatable.

Callaspo, 32, has a .265 career batting average with 52 home runs and 362 RBI in 1,033 games in 10 big league seasons with the Diamondbacks (2006-07), Royals (2008-10), Angels (2010-13), Athletics (2013-14), and Braves (2015).

During the course of his career, Callaspo has appeared at first base (23 games), second base (299 games), third base (565 games), shortstop (32 games), left field (seven games) and right field (seven games), combining to post a .969 fielding percentage.  The switch-hitter has been the hardest active player to strike out in his career, averaging 11.20 plate appearances per strikeout, and batted .206 with one home run and eight RBI in 37 games with Atlanta this year.

Thomas, 28, made his big league debut with Atlanta last year and has gone 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 21 combined appearances with the Braves in 2014-15, including allowing three runs (two earned) in five appearances this year (5.1 IP).

Thomas has been dominant at the minor league level this year, tossing 15.2 combined scoreless innings in nine games with Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi, and in 87 games (17 starts) in four minor league seasons in the Braves organization, he went 12-9 with eight saves and a 2.81 ERA. As a minor leaguer, he’s limited opposing hitters to a .211 batting average and posted a 1.09 WHIP, while striking out 228 and walking only 60 in 188.2 innings.

Jaime has pitched in 18 total big league games with the Braves in 2014-15 (0-1, 5.93 ERA). In eight minor league seasons, the 27-year-old has a 14-11 record with 37 saves and a 3.12 ERA in 168 games (14 starts). During the course of his minor league career, Jaime has limited opposing hitters to a .183 batting average with 359 strikeouts in 251.1 innings.

Stults, 35, had a 1-5 record with a 5.85 ERA in nine games (eight starts) with the Braves this year, his ninth Major League season.

By Staff of and news services

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