Dodgers officially send 3B Juan Uribe to Braves in 6-player trade

ESPN logo
Thursday, May 28, 2015

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers dealt third baseman Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in a six-player trade that was initially blocked.

Los Angeles also sent right-handed pitcher Chris Withrow to the Braves for infielder Alberto Callaspo, left-handers Eric Stults and Ian Thomas, and minor league right-hander Juan Jaime.

The 36-year-old Uribe was batting .247 with one home run and six RBIs in 29 games. He became expendable after losing his starting job to veteran Justin Turner and rookie Alex Guerrero, who was hitting .313 with eight homers in 83 at-bats.

Callaspo originally nixed the trade under a provision that prevents any player who became a major league free agent from being traded without his approval until after June 15. He agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Braves in December.

Uribe went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his Atlanta debut Wednesday night, a 3-2 Braves winover the Dodgers.Callaspo flied out to center field as a pinch hitter in the ninth to end the game.

Uribe had a career-best .311 average last season, along with nine homers and 54 RBIs in 103 games. He is making $6,925,000 in the final season of a two-year contract.

"I can't control what happens," he said Tuesday through a translator before the deal was completed. "You have to take things as they come. It's happened to me before. One day you're here, one day you're not. Thank God there are other teams that are interested in me."

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team had approached the Braves about acquiring Thomas in spring training and revived the talks and added other players when Uribe's agent, Barry Praver, called Friedman to ask him to explore trades with other teams where he could play more frequently.

Uribe, who often went by the nickname "Papi," was one of the most popular Dodgers players because of his lighthearted personality, but the team didn't want him around if he was unhappy with his role.

"If a guy's not happy and he hasn't been happy for, probably, the last couple of weeks with his situation, then it's never good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I think you want your pieces to fit and Juan was getting to be a tougher fit just from the standpoint of the guys we had here."

Uribe filmed a short video that the Dodgers tweeted in which Uribe says, "Remember, Dodger fans, Papi loves you."

"I don't feel bad about the trade," Uribe said later from the visiting dugout. "I would have felt bad if they traded me to a soccer team or a basketball team or a football team. They traded me to a baseball team, so I'm happy."

Callaspo, who has the same agent as Uribe, played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2010-13 before spending last season with Oakland. He merely had to trade clubhouses after his latest move -- the Braves were in Los Angeles for the finale of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.

Uribe, who helped the Dodgers win consecutive NL West titles after winning World Series rings with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and San Francisco in 2010, was coming to a team he helped beat in the 2013 NL Division Series. Uribe hit a decisive two-run homer against the Braves in the eighth inning of Game 4, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 series win.

He didn't provide many highlights this season.

"In professional sports, the guy that performs is the guy that plays," Mattingly said Tuesday. "Justin has swung the bat well, Alex has swung the bat well, and we've been trying to find playing time for him."

Callaspo, 32, was hitting .206 with one homer and eight RBIs.

Stults signed a $2 million, one-year deal with the Braves and made eight starts, but the 35-year-old was just 1-5 with a 5.85 ERA. He was designated for assignment by the Dodgers.

Thomas, who had pitched in five games out of the Atlanta bullpen, was optioned to the Dodgers' Triple-A team in Oklahoma City. Jaime, who made the Braves' roster in spring training but was quickly demoted after walking four in 1 innings, was assigned to extended spring training in Arizona.

Withrow is on the 60-day disabled list and hasn't pitched in more than a year. He underwent Tommy John surgery last June and lower back surgery during the offseason. He appeared in 46 games for the Dodgers over two seasons, going 3-0 with one save and a 2.73 ERA. The 26-year-old was a first-round pick in 2007.

"Withrow is a guy that when I was with the Rays I actually tried to acquire, so I appreciate how good he can be," Friedman said. "He's obviously rehabbing from Tommy John and also back surgery and is going to take a little bit of time to come back. The immediacy of being able to add pitching depth now as opposed to waiting until 2016 was something that kind of pushed it over for us."

Information from's Mark Saxon and The Associated Press was used in this report.

Related Video