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Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez traded to Indians

Jul 30, 2011, 8:12 PM EDT

jimenez wider getty Getty Images

The deal is done. Or, almost.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have agreed to trade right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians for pitching prospects Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, and 26-year-old minor league first baseman Matt McBride.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Reds all had serious interest in acquiring Ubaldo, but only the Indians, in the end, were able to meet Colorado’s asking price.

Pomeranz, a 22-year-old southpaw, was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft and has posted a fantastic 1.98 ERA and 112/38 K/BB ratio in 91 innings this season between Single-A and Double-A. White is also a prized young arm, though he’s been on the major league disabled list since late May with a strained ligament in his finger. McBride, a former second-round pick, has a .282/.345/.467 career batting line in the minor leagues. He’s slugged 15 homers in 96 games this year.

It’s quite a haul, but the Indians did not have to include second baseman Jason Kipnis or third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, and they’ve just made a significant upgrade to their starting rotation.

Jimenez, 27, owns a spectacular 3.62 career ERA and 8.2 career K/9. He’s making just $2.8 million this year and is owed just $4.2 million in 2012. His contract also includes an inexpensive option for 2013 ($5.75M).

UPDATE, 8:25 PM: According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, Jimenez has not yet been scratched from his scheduled Saturday start against the Padres and the Red Sox are still hoping to submit a late offer. The blockbuster deal with Cleveland might not be completely finished.

UPDATE, 8:36 PM: Jimenez has indeed taken the mound in San Diego, but CBS Sports’ Scott Miller observed that the right-hander didn’t go full throttle in his bullpen warmup. He may only pitch a few frames.

UPDATE, 9:01 PM: The Rockies will get a fourth player in the soon-to-be completed deal, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. Jimenez is likely to be pulled after just one inning of work.

UPDATE, 9:09 PM: Jimenez allowed two doubles and issued four walks in an awkward and ugly 45-pitch first inning. He was then spotted hugging teammates in the dugout. The trade, it seems, is now final.

UPDATE, 9:24 PM: Renck reports that the fourth player heading to Colorado is 23-year-old right-hander Joe Gardner. He’s posted a 4.99 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 97-plus innings this year at Double-A Akron.

UPDATE, 10:40 PM: The deal will not be finalized until Sunday afternoon, according to BP’s Kevin Goldstein. Everything has been agreed upon, but Ubaldo first has to pass a physical with the Tribe.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    I just can’t see this trade helping the Indians advance very far in the playoffs this year or in the future. The Rockies got a great deal in this trade.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      This is funny. There are some contradictory twits out there. I still do not like the trade for Cleveland. One top pitching prospect is OK, but not two.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

        The latest Twit has him pitching in the second inning, but a relief pitcher has already begun to warm up in the pen.

  2. digitaldonnie - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    booooooo…Im so done being an Indians fan.

  3. ispysomething7 - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    The Indians were fleeced. Ubaldo is Fausto v. 2.0

  4. largebill - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Way over paid for a slightly above average pitcher. Cleveland’s biggest issue is lack of scoring. If Jimenez can play OF and hit for decent power on days he isn’t pitching then this deal makes sense. Otherwise I’m for impeaching Antonetti as GM.

  5. hbdbrowns33 - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    I would of given up one of the guys not both if they turn out to be frontline starters u just gave up a one two punch at the top of your rotation for one guy. I hope it works out roll tribe.

    • hittfamily - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM

      The biggest word there is IF. They gave up 2 maybes for a definately. The Indians got the best of this deal, no question. He had the best 20 starts in all of baseball last year, and makes next to nothing the next 2.5 years. If his name was David Price, instead of Ubaldo Jimenez, this would be a no doubt win for the Indians.

      Okay, that sound like I’m accusing the detractors of racism. I’m not. I’m comparing All-Star game starter against allstar game starter. Both have had mediocre season, followed by great season, followed by better than average season. Jimenez is owed areound 10 million for the next 2.5 years. He is a steal.

      • tomemos - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        The key is “last year.” His velo is down this year. That spells trouble.

      • hittfamily - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:48 PM

        They just traded the only pitcher who has ever succeeded in their 17 year history. That pitcher was 27 years old, and owed nothing. Nothing!!!!! The best pitcher in Rockies history was owed 10 million for the next 2.5 years, or approximately 22 AJ Burnett starts (guess). They have been a playoff contending team recently, and have their other stars treading water. Yesterday, they are a playoff caliber team next year. Today, they aren’t. Unless they got Greg Maddux reincarnated, they lost.

  6. kast2l - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Jimenez earns $2.8MM this year and $4.2MM in 2012. His contract includes a $5.75MM club option ($1MM buyout) for 2013 and an $8MM club option for 2014 ($1MM buyout).

    So you still don’t see how it plays into their future? That’s crazy cheap especially since you can argue no one in the Indians rotation have the kinda stuff Jimenez does and I’m a Masterson supporter, but no one has the talent on that rotation that Jimenez has.

    • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      thats great if your pitching staff needs help, but bringing in Ubaldo when you have 3 players hitting over .250? just foolishness going on down in Cleveland right now. they just sold the farm for a guy that won’t help them score runs

      • kast2l - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

        giving up 3 players 1 who Jimenez is replacing essentially is selling the farm? Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks trade is selling the farm. Not this.

      • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM

        you guys would have been better off keeping the prospects, Ubaldo is not nearly enough to transform the Indians into a legitimate WS contender this year or the next few

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

      The trade voids the option for 2014. He may be better than any current starter on the Indians, but the two starters they sent to Denver each have more upside potential than any of the current starters on the Indians. While I hoped that the Jays would get him, there is a big risk associated with pitchers who have pitched in Colorado for several years. Tom Verducci of SI.com has shown that Rocky pitchers tend to break down after they throw 500 innings for the team. Pitching at Coors has had a negative effect on their health.

      • Mark - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:35 PM

        A bigger reason why those pitchers declined after 500 innings, was that none of them were very good to begin with.

        Francis is probably one of the better pitchers, and he barely managed a 2:1 K:BB ratio. Between 05-08 he had a 4.72 ERA, and FIP’s ranging between 4.19 and 4.81. Astacio was the only one who was really significantly above league average and maintained a strong K:BB. So really, it’s just 1/10 that Verducci can make that claim for. The rest of them were pretty below average pitchers, and it’s more of a surprise they got 500 innings with one team than the fact they got injured.

        The lack of velocity is a bit of a red flag, but he’s still having a tremendous year.

    • kmgannon - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

      I’m on board with this deal…Jiminez outside of Coors Field? Young and under team control cheap through 2014? This is a good trade. Pomeranz may be the real deal, but White hasn’t impressed yet….I’m more for the surer thing with Jiminez. And we keep Chisenhall and Kipnis. Win.

  7. bstras2809 - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Bad trade. Love my Indians, hate this trade.

    • goldneagles - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:53 PM

      Off the ledge, man. It’s career-clock management. Even if White and Pomeranz don’t go bzzt in their pitching arms, and even if they pan out (and chances are awfully good that one of them gets seriously hurt or doesn’t pan out), it might take years. The Indians right now are built for 2012-2014. It sucks to see young arms go, though. Always does.

  8. banksatdixie - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    They’ll just turn around and flip him 365 days from now.

  9. ispysomething7 - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    This would have never happened on John Hart’s watch!!!!

    • tolbuck - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:36 PM

      Are you kidding? Hart traded prospects all the time.

      • ispysomething7 - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:14 PM

        Not for pitching. Plus Hart traded his prospects when they had no more player options left i.e. Giles, Sexson

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    This trade hasn’t happened yet. According to Gordon Edes, Jiminez is heading to the bullpen to warm up. Red Sox still trying.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      ESPN is also reporting that Jiminez is warming up in the bullpen. Somebody jumped the gun on this story.

      • jamie54 - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM

        Pitched the first and gave up four earned on four walks. Don’t know why the Rockies even let him start unless it had to have the MLB office approval. We’ll see how he does with Cleveland but it’s worth the shot for the Tribe.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:15 PM

        Is he still going to Cleveland or did the Red Sox swoop in and make a play?

    • bloodysock - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

      Jiminez is distracted tonight with Rogers warming up over him shoulder. Lars Andersen was pulled from Pawtucket’s game.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

        A Lars Anderson trade rumor – On my!

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:14 PM

        If Anderson is traded it will probably be for 1 of Harden, Bedard or Francis.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        Anderson’s not getting traded for anyone. He hasn’t been a prospect for years now.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        It looks as if Anderson has been traded for Harden.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:43 PM

        Hahahaha, is my face red.

        Apparently he’s still good enough to be traded for a guy with upside and 30 IP.

  11. kast2l - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Why is this such a loss for the Indians? Who in that rotation puts fear into a opposing team? Its not like the Beltran deal where Jimenez is only 2 months… Everyone knows pitching in Colorado is not easy. Look at his home and away splits… 5.5 ERA at home and 2.83 ERA away. 2009 he had a 2.63 ERA away so please enlighten me.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM

      See my comment about the article by Tom Verducci of SI.com. It is difficult to pitch in Coors because of the effect on era’s and because it seems to have a negative effect on a pitcher’s health.

      • JBerardi - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

        Well, for some mysterious reason, Cleveland’s front office did not consult Tom Verducci.

      • FC - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:29 PM

        But Jimenez’s best years are still in front of him, you can arguably say that not pitching there anymore (Unless Rockies and Indians meet there in Interleague or WS) will reverse whatever health issues he has. By not pitching in Coors anymore his numbers are likely to improve. You can never have too much pitching.

  12. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    He still has nasty stuff though , him and masterson can be a real good 1 – 2 punch .

  13. hittfamily - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    I hate this deal, no matter who they get. Cliff Lee was traded for squat. CC Sabathia was traded for squat. Jimenez is Cy Young talent, locked up, and cheap. Jimenez was affordable for a team that isn’t rebuilding, and they just put themselves in rebuilding mode.

    Rockies fans should be pissed. Horrible.

  14. natstowngreg - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    So the done deal is not a done deal?

  15. Kevin S. - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Not so fast my friend!

  16. shawon0meter - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Good for the Indians taking the risk. You’ve sucked for 15 years trying to win with prospects and getting rid of the stars. Try it the other way.

    • clefan12 - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM

      Sucked for 15 years? Weren’t we a game away from the WS a few years ago? We’re small market…we can’t hang onto our stars. There is no other way to do it.

      • shawon0meter - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM

        I exaggerated but 1 first place finish in the last 10 years…I’d be ok with taking this chance.

  17. ohkno - Jul 30, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    This just in, the eagles swoop in and trade for ubaldo

  18. Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    All you people bemoaning trading away young players… Ubaldo is who you hope those pitchers grow up to be. But Ubaldo is already there. And he’s not just a rental, you’d have him for the next two years.

    Trade two top prospects for a good player, that’s one thing. Trade two top prospects for a consistent #2 (in Coors, no less)? That’s a win every time.

    • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:26 PM

      trade 2 top prospects for a pitcher when your team needs offensive help? that’s illogical

  19. derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    if he is in fact going to the Indians my prediction is the Indians fall apart down the stretch and he gets flipped between December and next trade deadline day

    • Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      He’s way too cheap for them to trade him. The Rockies were foolish to trade him for prospects. A second team won’t make that mistake.

      • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:37 PM

        that depends. the chances of the Indians contending again next year are slim unless they make some major offseason moves. if they are not contending by the deadline there will be no reason to keep him on board. that being said, they control him for 2 years after this so maybe he won’t get dealt next year. but he is 100% being dealt by Cleveland before his contract is up

      • Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

        The reason to keep him on board will be to have him for $5M or whatever the following year. Having a frontline pitcher at that salary is more than worth it, and they can always trade him the following deadline if necessary.

      • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:05 PM

        I understand the business side of this deal, but look at it from a baseball perspective. he can help this team 1 out of every 5 games they play. the offense will struggle 5 out of 5 games they play. it just doesn’t make that much sense to me why the Indians would pick him up

  20. ohkno - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    What do you mean down the stretch? 22-36 since starting 30-15. Seems they fell apart months ago.

    • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:39 PM

      they’re still hanging on though at 2 games back. my guess is this trade might rejuvenate them for a week or even a month, but in the end they won’t taste the playoffs

      • Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:51 PM

        Still anyone’s game in the Central. No one’s that great.

      • derpdederpdederp - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:55 PM

        true, but Cleveland is a flash in the pan. they had a hot start but have appeared to stay in contention only because of the play of the other teams in their division. at the end of the day Detroit will win the central and Cleveland will finish well out of the race. then Ubaldo can watch the WS on tv instead of pitching in it

      • FC - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM

        Well from Ubaldo’s perspective the only that changes in that scenario is that he’s watching the WS in Cleveland instead of Denver…

  21. ohkno - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Ari, what do you expect from a gm that came from the Indians organization?

  22. ohkno - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    In all seriousness, love the trade for the next couple seasons, here’s to hoping dolans discounts continue to be aggressive this coming offseason. Roll Tribe

  23. mrklutch1011 - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    3 players that have done NOTHING at the major league level for a one year removed 19 game winner in a hitters park with power stuff. Oh he’s also in his mid twenties and affordable. Pretty sure the yanks and sox were busting there heads trying to steal him away from all the other teams too.

    Don’t see why more indians fans arent on board with to this. Ubaldo in your rotation for 3 years on national tv or 3 guys you’ll barely see getting bounced back and forth to columbus. You wanna be the WINdians start playing with the big boys

    • banksatdixie - Jul 30, 2011 at 9:42 PM

      Ya, the Yanks and Sox were busting their heads alright. Cleveland just dealt their two best prospects for a guy they aren’t allowed to do a physical on. Fucking brilliant.

    • takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      First of all, they are doing a physical on him today before it will be made official. I too can;t believe all the negativity from Tribe fans who clearly don’t know much, if anything, about baseball. The Tribe is getting an ace, in his mid 20′s, with an affordable contract for the rest of this year, and the next 2 seasons. Yes, they gave up some prospects, but no proven big league talent. While I hate to give up on Pomeranz, you are gettting a known for an unkown quantity. Face it, prospects are a big crapshoot. Every year, there is some player or players that are supposed to be the next “star” and year after year they fail to pan out. Adam Miller, Trevor Crowe, Jason Guthrie, Michael Aubry, Jeremy Sowers…. the list goes on and on. All these guys were high draft picks and were the best player in ur sstem at one point or another. We are trading pieces that we have no guarantee will ever suceed at this level, for a proven talent, all star starter, and legit Cy Young potential. Clearly, a gamble, and yet a good trade no doubt. You guys all bitch and complain when we do nothing, or are sellers at the deadline. Well, now we are buyers and got one of the biggest names out there. I love it! Antonetti has huge ones for ulling this off. There is no doubt the Yankees and Red Sox just didn;t have the pieces to compete in this trade, as their systems have been scavenged in previous years and there just wasn;t enough left to outbid the Tribe. The Tribe,on the other hand, has been collecting minor eaguers for a few years, so we have plenty of pieces to consider.
      Oh, and for the idiot that compared Ubaldo to Fausto Carmona, you sir, have no clue. Watch him pitch and see if you feel the same way. This is a strikeout pitcher, not some head case sinkerballer.

      From the Rockies point of view, they are getting good potential, but that is it. The guy closest to the big leagues is on the DL right now…. I’d say it’s a win for both teams, but a clear edge to the Tribe. Now, in 5 years when Pomeranz is winning 19 games and K’ing 10 per 9 innings, and Ubaldo is playing for the Yankees, I probably won;t feel the same, but for right now….I LOVE IT!! Go TRIBE!

  24. clevefan1 - Jul 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    This deal would make a lot more sense for the Indians if they turned around and traded Jiminez to one of the other teams that they were bidding against to get some batters that can actually hit.

  25. bigtrav425 - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Im tribe fan and live in cleveland..this is THE worst trade that they could have made…White is going ot be a STUD..Drew looks like he is on his way….We are just not in the posistion to compete this yr with the sox and Yanks…..i apologize for the typing..as soon as i saw this trade was for real i hit the tewulia hardcore….baseball is my fav sport and this trade hurts big time

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