Jimenez voids option and is now a free agent
November 1, 2013
The Indians announced today that they have exercised the 2014 club option ($8 million) on right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Because of the parameters of his contract where if he were traded, his 2014 club option turned into a mutual option when he was traded from the Rockies to the Indians in July of 2011. As a result, Jimenez voided the contract and is now a free agent.
Jimenez, 29, went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts for the Indians this season. He had the best second half (6-5, 1.82 ERA) of any pitcher in the American League and was a huge reason for the team's success down the stretch going 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in September.
The Indians have a Monday deadline to make a 2014 qualifying offer, which is $14.1 million. They will surely offer one to him, but he is very likely to decline that as well. The qualifying offer ensures that the Indians net a pick as compensation at the end of the first round of the 2014 Draft if he signs elsewhere.
Jimenez is considered the top available starting pitcher in free agency and is going to have a long list of suitors. Because of his ability to be a top of the rotation starter - assuming he is given the qualifying offer and declines it - few teams will be concerned with losing a first round pick to sign him.
It remains to be seen what kind of contract Jimenez might get, but anything less than four years and $15 million a year seems very unlikely. In fact, when the free agent frenzy is over and the market plays out, he very well could end up with a multi-year deal in the $75-100 million range.
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I know that agents try to tell players to avoid accepting qualify offers. But if a player signs the 1 yr qualify offer in 2014, when he becomes a FA agent again 15, than that team can no longer offer a qualify offer for 15?
Throw in the fact that David Price is likely going to be traded and I'd be surprised if Ubaldo got more than $60M. Think he's probably looking at a deal similar to Edwin Jackson. Think that QO is gonna hurt him some though.