Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

On the fence about Ubaldo

A day later and we’re still trying to sort out our feelings about the Indians trading for Ubaldo Jimenez.

We were hoping the team would try to do something before Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but we weren’t expecting this.

When your offense is batting .191 in its last 10 games … and the team has gone 6-10 since the All-Star break … and just finished the month of July 11-15 … and has only scored more than 3 runs three times in the last 13 games … and just lost 2-of-3 to the last place Royals … and finished a homestand with a 2-6 record

Well, let’s just say, adding pitching wasn’t the first thing that popped into our minds.

We understand that you have to give up prospects to acquire major league talent, but we do have to wonder if the Tribe overpaid by giving up both Drew Pomeranz and Alex White – the top two pitching prospects in the organization.

On the other hand, the financial aspect of the trade can’t be overlooked. This isn’t a two-month rental as Jimenez is under contract for $4.2 million in 2012 and a club option for $5.75 ($1 million guaranteed) in 2013. That kind of reasonably priced player simply can’t be underestimated for a small-market team like the Indians.

The question becomes, then, is Jimenez worth the price the Indians paid?

As Jayson Stark pointed out on ESPN:

(The Indians) know the guy they traded for isn’t the same Ubaldo who hit the 2010 All-Star break at 15-1 with an ERA barely above 2. Since then, this fellow has won just 10 of his past 36 starts, his velocity his down, and his ERA has more than doubled.

However, Stark goes on to say:

Nevertheless, in Jimenez’s 10 starts between June 1, which was about the time he finally began to get his strength back after some early-season issues, and the third week of July, at about the time the trade rumors began to swirl, the Great Ubaldo had a 2.58 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings. Want to put those numbers in better perspective?

The only starters in the big leagues with a better ERA and a better strikeout rate over that period were Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Gio Gonzalez.

Well the sounds pretty good. And Jimenez did that while pitching his home games at Coors Field, not exactly a pitcher’s park.

One nagging question we can’t shake is, if Jimenez is so good with such a team-friendly contract, why did the Rockies trade him?

Also, according to this article in The Denver Post, the team originally floated out the idea of trading Jimenez as a way to motivate him. Does that sound like the kind of pitcher who is going to hold up during a pennant race?

But what’s done is done; the trade has gone through and Jimenez is an Indian. As long as his uniform says Cleveland on it we’re behind him.

Even if we’re still not totally sold on the trade.

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One thought on “On the fence about Ubaldo

  1. I'm all for the Ubaldo trade if it really means the Indians front office and owner are ALL IN for the next 2.5 years. If this is the case, it means they will at least be in the chase for the premier free agents in the coming off-seasons. They've got a pitching staff that looks massive on paper. Now, they need to ensure they have the offense to complete the team.

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