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MLB Storylines: Ubaldo's name finally comes off the board

MLB Storylines: Ubaldo's name finally comes off the board
Ubaldo Jimenez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA for the Indians in 2013. (Photo: AP)
February 18, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, February 17th.

Top Stories

  • Former Indian Ubaldo Jimenez has finally found his new home. On Monday, Jimenez agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the Orioles. Baltimore will now lose their 17th overall pick in June's draft, while the Indians will gain a third first round pick (estimated at #32 overall) as a result of the Jimenez signing.

Tribe News

  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians and Justin Masterson are making final preparations for their arbitration hearing on Thursday. Hoynes said that Masterson has indicated that the two sides are trying to find common ground and reach a deal before the hearing; however, it would likely be a one-year deal instead of a long term extension. Masterson said: "We're seeing if it's possible if we can make something happen before we leave [for the arbitration hearing]. We're trying to see if we're being too stubborn or not. We're trying to be smart and reasonable. We're definitely moving a little bit here and there to see what can happen."

Others News and Notes

  • Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that the Orioles decided to add a fourth year to their offer to Jimenez due to concern that the Red Sox or Blue Jays would offer a competitive or better three-year deal. However, Olney said that neither Boston nor Toronto made an offer to Jimenez.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweeted that the Mariners could still possibly bring back Kendrys Morales. Cafardo said that the Pirates are not willing to part with a first round pick to sign Morales, and Baltimore's executive vice president Dan Duquette can't get the financial go-ahead to sign the free agent slugger.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News believes that it could be beneficial to both parties if the Rangers were to bring back Nelson Cruz on a one-year deal.
  • Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune was on hand when Padres third baseman Chase Headley said that his discussions with San Diego regarding a contract extension will likely be put on hold until after the season. Headley is set to be a free agent following the 2014 season.
  • Josh Willingham's agent told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that his client loves Minnesota and would like to finish his career with the Twins.
  • The Royals claimed infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Orioles.
  • Manny Ramirez has changed agents and still has interest in playing again in the Major Leagues.

User Comments

Hermie13
February 20, 2014 - 10:54 AM EST
Lonnie Chisenhall's oWAR as 1.2 last year...in less than half the ABs that Morales had...

Not saying that Chiz is better or equal to Morales offensively, but the difference between Lonnie's bat and Morales's bat may not end up being as different as some think in 2014...
Themaven
February 19, 2014 - 5:36 PM EST
Morales has a lifetime OPS+ of 120(Carlos Santana's is 130) and had an oWAR of 2.7 last year.

IF.... they can sign him for three years at 25 million total and then drop him in the middle of the Tribe line up instead of Chisenchump (with Santana at third) ,
I say the Tribe scores 800 runs next season.

The alternative is more Kieran Lovegroves and Mitch Browns.

Hermie13
February 19, 2014 - 10:41 AM EST
I agree Walter...

Was more clarifying how much I don't want Morales....at least not now. If he held out til after the draft and we need a bat...then call me intrigued.
Walter
February 19, 2014 - 10:31 AM EST
I dont see the Indians signing any of the 3 in Cruz/drew or Morales. I think Cruz is overrated. The Indians already have a ton of players that can DH.
Hermie13
February 19, 2014 - 10:21 AM EST
I would much, much, much rather sign Drew than Morales if you're going after a position player. Would rather sign Cruz too.

Morales is not that good. Basically a DH only at this point who doesn't provide that much value, especially when you consider he'd be on the bench when Santana is DHing.
Rich
February 18, 2014 - 7:06 PM EST
Yes, Ubaldo did fatten up on the Twins, Chisox, and Royals a lot last year. The Yanks, Red Sox, Rays and Jays won't be so friendly.

The question is whether Ubaldo will be so much better over the next four years than whoever the Indians will pitch in place of him that it would be worth the money. I think the Indians are gambling that Bauer or Carrasco will be nearly as good if not better than Ubaldo for a fraction of the cost. Plus, they get a draft pick at the bottom of the first round and move up one with their own pick.
Themaven
February 18, 2014 - 5:54 PM EST
Orioles came in right about where I thought with the 12.5 million per year.
Four years of wondering which Ubaldo is going to show up on the mound that day?.......No thanks.Been there, done that.

Does the Tribe go after Morales to man the DH spot now or do they role the dice with the picks in June?
Walter
February 18, 2014 - 2:49 PM EST
The Reds believe that Bailey is there future ace. Cueto has been injury prone last 2 years. Latos had minor elbow surgery in off season and just recently had minor knee surgery. Both become FA in near future. The Reds drew over 2 million this past year and the market size is a little bigger than Cleveland. So in there eyes the rumored contract is worth it.

The concern I have as an observer is that he pitches better on the road than at home.
Joe Chengery
February 18, 2014 - 2:04 PM EST
I don't think $12.5M avg. per year was bad for resigning Ubaldo- the real problem for me, as Hermie13 mentioned, was the four guaranteed years; I would have gone no farther than 3 years and an option.

By that same token, I would not sign Masterson for four guaranteed years either; if that's what it takes, I would put the QO and take the pick, OR, if the right deal came along (i.e. High value), pull the trigger. Chances of that are slim, though, so mostly likely it would be QO and additional draft pick. I'd go three with an option for Masterson as well.

As for value, I'd consider $12.5-13M yr. for Masterson, maybe $14-15M/yr. beyond that, no. I certainly wouldn't consider the $16.7M yr. the Reds might give Bailey (what are they thinking? He hasn't been close to the ace hype that he once shared with Miller, Hughes, and Gallardo).

Rick, do keep in mind that Ubaldo will face the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays 18-19 times each over those four years, more challenging than facing the AL Central teams 18-19 times (and the AL East 6-7 times per season), so if his numbers are a little worse than they were with us, it would be understandable. If they are far worse, then those who were concerned about Jimenez would be right, though I think the Indians had the best chance of keeping his form from last year with Callaway and familiar surroundings here. I'll be interested to see if he can maintain that form and follow-thru without Callaway and the Indians' staff around. Yes, he'll have the tapes, but will that be enough? I'm not certain.

So, I wouldn't be that surprised to see Jimenez be more inconsistent and even falter being away from the Indians; I believed he would be much the same pitcher as last year IF he had remained here. Now that he hasn't, who knows what's in the cards now regarding Jimenez. We'll begin finding out about 1.5 months from now.
Seth
February 18, 2014 - 2:02 PM EST
Ultimately I will probably be glad to root for Carrasco or Bauer to break through rather than worry about whether Ubaldo shows up in camp maxing out at 89 mph. The Indians never seemed interested, and they should know Ubaldo best. The 4th year seems like a lot, though I've seen this deal quoted as 4/48 elsewhere. In which case, if you were willing to go to 3/39, an extra year at $9 million doesn't seem too crazy. But this is a pitcher who was looking like he was on his way out of baseball last April, so any additional years/money is scary. I'd have probably passed on Ubaldo at that rate, though still wish they had signed Kazmir. Will be more fun to have some competition for that 5th spot though.
Rich
February 18, 2014 - 1:42 PM EST
If Bauer, Carrasco, OR Tomlin emerges as a decent #5 starter, the Tribe will probably he happy they passed on Ubaldo.

They gave up Choo to get Bauer, and Carrasco was part of the Cliff Lee deal. They've got something invested in these guys and they need to give them a shot.

But don't be surprised if Ubaldo wins 60 games over the next four years. He has figured out how to pitch and has the videotape if he needs to tweak his mechanics. He never gets hurt or misses a start. He should be able to earn the money.
Walter
February 18, 2014 - 11:58 AM EST
Barring the Indians signing Santana/Drew/Morales/Cruz it would be interesting to see how the Indians handle having 4 picks in top 100 this June draft. Something also to look forward to talk about in the up coming weeks/months on this site.

Rick
February 18, 2014 - 11:38 AM EST
Would agree with matt U if this were 2009...and I hadn't spent the past few years enjoying IBI. The great reporting at this site gives me lots of room for hope.

Interesting that Buster Olney claims fear of competition on Ubaldo within their division prompted the O's to give him a 4th year. I buy it with Toronto but have a hard time believing it was real with Boston.

There is of course a caveat here; no mention of the infamous Orioles 'pending physical' being complete.

In the end am glad (surprise!) and believe as Hermie13, Ubaldo got fair market value. Despite the Haters concerning our Farm Crew, love a 3rd #1.

Ubaldo went where the flawed risky baller ends up - passed over by the A-list clubs with 100 million + payrolls and - in favor of a good offensive club in a tough division whose biggest concern is dicey starting pitching.

Sounds like the next 2 years will be a good test of those who were stumping for the Tribe to take the risk and give Ubaldo a comfortable long term contract.

We shall see if he helps Baltimore like they say he would have helped us.

I stand by my many prior posts; one of the great non-moves of this FO current run.
Hermie13
February 18, 2014 - 10:36 AM EST
My thoughts on this deal...money is very fair for Ubaldo, but I wouldn't have given him 4 guaranteed years. Definitely would have liked him back, but 3 years with an option would have been my hard limit with him.

Believe Ubaldo is now the first SP to get at least 4 years guaranteed years after declining a QO?
Rocky55
February 18, 2014 - 9:59 AM EST
As has been written many times, I believe that the team shot their wad on FA's last year & we can't expect that kind of thing every year in Cleveland. We'll see what they do from now on but I don't expect any big signings this year,
Walter
February 18, 2014 - 8:48 AM EST
I think past history show that the Indians are able to find replaceable prospects thru trades from other organizations.

Examples Choo, Cabrera, Lee, Santana, Sizemore, Phillips,Kluber, McAllister, Masterson, Hagadone, Bauer, Carrasco.

If the Indians were not 2nd worst attendance draw just maybe they would be able to compete more in the FA market.

Drafting alone would solve the problem. The Pirates were in the top 10 in draft for 20years before the finally had a winning season. Does that mean the Pirates drafted worse than the Indians?
Tony
February 18, 2014 - 8:46 AM EST
Glad the Indians did not retain Jimenez. I know there are a lot of favorable stats when you look at them holistically, but there are so many intangibles with him that scare the ever living shit out of me to give him 4 years $50M. If the Indians were the Yankees, that's a risk they can take....but as a team with a limited budget, he's not the kind of guy you sign to such a deal, even if it is viewed as somewhat of a bargain in the market. Just so much with his mechanics, arm slot, command, makeup which to me can make his performance too volatile for me. And he just does not give innings in the sense he consistently pitches deep into games. Last season he averaged 5.7 innings a start and only pitched 6.0 innings or more 16 of his 32 starts - 8 of them coming in his final 8 starts. The year before he averaged 5.7 innings a start and the year before in 2011 he averaged 5.8 innings a start. The true front end and middle rotation starters are in the 6.5-6.9 range.
Rocky55
February 18, 2014 - 8:08 AM EST
It's up to the Org now. If they can't swim with the sharks in the FA pool they have to be Farmer McGregor & raise their own. OB's post on the boards re the draft/development end is the most cost effective & rational avenue going forward.

Agree that 4 yrs/$50 million is too much for Ubie but so is a Baileyesque contact for Masterson. Anyway, I don't believe that he wants to stay.

It's a shame that we haven't drafted any replacements for the guys we lose, ala the Braves, other than the star-crossed Adam Miller. He'd have been about to leave now anyway, sans injury.
Daingean
February 18, 2014 - 7:13 AM EST
I hear the complaints on Mirabelli/Grant and their drafting and while I agree, I think the blame has to be spread evenly with the development staff. My point is "even blind squirrels find nuts" and that in 10+ years of drafting we've found and developed no difference makers at the SP position. Hopefully Salazar earns the difference maker moniker. Sure drafting soft tossers like Sowers and Huff doesn't help but they have had some live arms to work with but couldn't get them to work either.
Pathofkindness
February 18, 2014 - 1:49 AM EST
I was for signing Ubaldo if his price dropped to 3/33m, but clearly that was never happening. I'm not sorry at all to see the Tribe pass on 4/50m. Good chance he crashes and burns without Callaway around.

Still don't understand why we didn't resign Kazmir though. A backloaded 2/21m seems like a very reasonable deal. Oh well, let the Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer era's begin!

Doesn't sound like there's any chance at all to sign JM long term. The Tribe is almost certainly not going to be a player at the 6/100m level that Bailey and the Reds are talking about.

Actually, I'm hoping they are shopping him now, as I don't like getting nothing for FA's (and a draft pick IMO is about as next to nothing as possible...).
matt underwood
February 18, 2014 - 1:48 AM EST
if Mirabelli/Grant could draft worth a crap it would be worthwhile... we might as well blind fold monkeys and give them darts.

Their draft record rivals only the Browns in awful-ness.

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