Sources say Uribe close to signing deal with Dodgers

Infielder Juan Uribe is closing in on a three-year deal to leave the Giants for the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.

A key member of the World Series champions this season, Uribe was set to travel from his native Dominican Republic to Southern California to undergo a physical on Tuesday, one of the people said. Both people spoke on condition on anonymity because nothing had been announced.

San Francisco offered Uribe salary arbitration last Tuesday, when general manager Brian Sabean acknowledged the sides were far off in their numbers. Sabean had hoped to bring back Uribe to keep much of his roster intact heading into 2011.

The 31-year-old Uribe hit .248 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs in 2010 while playing in 148 games, including 103 at shortstop. He homered and drove in five runs during the World Series for the Giants, who won in five games against the Texas Rangers, and had nine RBIs in all during the postseason. San Francisco won the city's first championship since moving West in 1958.

The versatile Uribe would give new manager Don Mattingly plenty of options for the Dodgers, whose owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt, are embroiled in a nasty divorce dispute largely regarding who will assume ownership of the team. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has said the Dodgers will have a budget that will allow them to compete in 2011.

At 80-82, Los Angeles finished fourth in the NL West in manager Joe Torre's final season after reaching the NL championship series the previous two years. It marked the club's first losing season since 2005.

Sabean said last week the Giants already have had discussions regarding other available shortstops to fill the void left by departed World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, who is contemplating retirement.

“So this may take some time to get sorted out,” Sabean said of Uribe. “I think both parties are willing to do something faster, we're just not talking the same language in ballpark figures. You have to be patient because we like the player … but you do have to do business at hand and that's why we're juggling the trade scenario. I really don't know what the outside world is going to bring to him offer wise.”

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