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What does waiving Uribe accomplish?

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It appears that the White Sox have placed Juan Uribe on some form of waivers (Updated language to satisfy Larry), though we shouldn't expect any confirmation of such until he has been claimed or passed through them completely, as they are supposed to be confidential. By rule, the White Sox are not allowed to comment on the situation. So, we can't be sure what Uribe's status is, leaving us to do what we do best; speculate.

First, lets answer what being placed on waivers means for the Uribe situation. Mark Gonzalez and Joe Cowley both cite a 72-hour period during which teams can place a claim on Uribe, allowing them to pick up Uribe and his entire salary. Other resources list a 48 hour window, but note that Saturday and Sunday don't count. So, combining those two, Uribe could be in limbo until Monday.

In the probable event that no team places a claim on Uribe, he becomes a free agent and the White Sox are still on the hook for his $4.5MM salary. The only way the Sox avoid having to pay him is if an angel of a team -- I'm looking your direction Baltimore -- comes along and places a claim, picking up the full $4.5MM in the process.

How did we get here?

When the Sox signed Uribe to his current 1-year deal in lieu of picking up his $5MM option, I called it "the best of a myraid of poor solutions" available on the free-agent market. I had no idea at the time that David Eckstein would only require a 1-year deal, or that Adam Everett could be had for $2.5MM. I went on to call the deal "far from an optimal situation, [which] gives the Sox freedom to continue to look for trades and doesn't lock them into a poor long-term situation."

Ten days later, the Sox completed the Garland for Cabrera trade, effectively making Uribe an overpriced backup. And a month after that they signed the lightly-pursued Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez, whose hot spring might have given Uribe the final push out the door.

Ramirez was in the lineup in center field for the second time this spring, and had an impressive day at the plate. He walked twice, upping his spring total to 3, and hit a leafoff homerun off Ubaldo Jimenez after an extended at bat. It was a little bit rougher outing for Ramirez in the field, as he missed the cutoff man twice and nearly missed on another occasion. He was 50/50 on difficult to field balls in the gap, once taking a nice route to make a routine play look exactly that, but later faltering on a long run to a ball at the wall ultimately having the ball glance off his backhand attempt.

Just yesterday, Joe Cowley wrote of two contentious morning meetings. One can only assume there was a third this morning before Uribe was placed on waivers. It's just another case, like the Hunter-to-Rowand-to-Swisher situation before it, in which it looks like the White Sox front office has no concrete plan on how to build a team.

We applaud Kenny Williams for his ability to admit he made a mistake in signing Uribe by placing him on waivers before the season even begins. But we'd be a lot happier if he would just make the right decision in his first attempt next time.

Who's on second?

So now that Uribe, the previous leader in the competition for second base, is on the outs, who plays second? These are the options as I see them.
  • Alexei Ramirez -- The aforementioned Cuban has impressed with his bat this spring, but second is supposedly his "rawest" of positions.
  • Danny Richar -- He arrived late to camp with visa issues, and when he did show up complained of a injured back. He was a late scratch from Wednesday's game, and had a MRI to inspect the back injury.
  • Pablo Ozuna -- The Secret Weapon has exceeded my dubiously low expectations for him this spring. I expected him to be complete waste of space following his return from a broken leg last season, but he's appeared healthy from the very start of spring. I did note that he was unable to beat out a ball in the hole in Monday's game, which could signal that the loss of speed I had feared has arrived.
  • Trade -- There have been some unsubstantiated rumors of Brian Roberts (purely because the Cubs want him) and Mark Ellis (because Oakland is selling off anyone over age 26), but I can't see the Sox making a major trade between now and Opening Day that doesn't include Joe Crede.
I'd give Ramirez the inside track to be the opening day starter, with Richar probably headed to Charlotte or the DL. Ozuna has served as a passable backup for the last 3 seasons, but shouldn't be considered for a starting role.