Results tagged ‘ Ubaldo Jimenez ’

Indians asking about top names

Indians manager Manny Acta said recently that fans of the Tribe would be “shocked and surprised” at the effort the front office is putting forth in an effort to pull off a trade or two before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trad Deadline.

On Tuesday, Cleveland was named as an interested party for two of the top players presumed to be available.

In a piece for MLB.com, columnist Peter Gammons wrote that the Indians were willing to give up a good player and take on salary in order to acquire Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. Unfortunately, Cleveland “did not fit” for Beltran, who has a right to veto any trade. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted that the Indians have shown interest in Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

Prior to Tuesday’s game in Cleveland, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti held court with reporters to discuss the upcoming Deadline. Antonetti indicated that acquiring offense is the Tribe’s top priority, but he noted that the Indians have also had plenty of conversations about pitching help.

While Antonetti would not deem any of the club’s top prospects as “untouchable,” he did say that it would take a “compelling” deal to pry them away. Antonetti added that the Tribe was not likely to part with any of its top core prospects in a trade for a player who would only be around for this season’s final two months.

All of that said, the Indians are definitely in buying mode.

“We want to take advantage of every opportunity that we have to get to the postseason and advance in the postseason,” Antonetti said. “That said, you have to be mindful of the cost of doing that. I think we are prepared, and have talked about it, to do what we can, what’s reasonable, to improve the team.”

–Jordan Bastian

Reds won’t overpay in trades

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and his club have not gotten into the serious stages of talks about any potential deals as of yet.

“I wouldn’t say nothing is going on. We’re talking a lot but nothing is even close,” Jocketty said on Tuesday afternoon.

What remains a sticking point are the extraordinary asking prices for available players.  For example, the Denver Post reported Tuesday that the Rockies wanted Aroldis Chapman and top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco in any deal for ace starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

In having a high asking price, Colorado is hoping that a team will blink and give in. That team won’t likely be the Reds.

According to a baseball source, Cincinnati has no plans to blow other teams away with its proposals. If there is a fair deal that can help the club, they would discuss it. The Reds aren’t going to overpay in a trade, however.

– Mark Sheldon

Rockies don’t mind Ubaldo pitching winter ball … if he’s still with them

Chances are if the Rockies end up receiving an offer they’ll accept for right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, it’ll be close or at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But if the Rockies aren’t blown away and they hold onto him, his preparation for 2011 will be different.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Jimenez said he will pitch in the Dominican Winter League for Licey, something he has done for most of his career. The club has been asking some Latin American players to back away from winter ball in recent years, fearing it causes additional wear and tear.

But after Jimenez suffered a cut on his thumb cuticle in Spring Training and also battled leg muscle issues, then missed time early in the year with the cuticle injury, he has decided pitching in the winter actually reduces risk because he is more ready for the season.

“Yeah, for sure it got me ready. This year, when I got to spring training I was getting ready for the season,” Jimenez told the AP. “But a year before when I played winter ball I went to spring training already ready.”

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told the AP: “Sounds like a great idea.”

How available is Jimenez, exactly? Jon Heyman of SI.com says via Twitter it’s a “Justin Upton-esque trial balloon.” During the offseason, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said even Upton was available in a way of saying anything was on the table when it came to improving the club. Of course, the D-backs are a surprise National League West contender, and Upton is a key reason.

In another Trade Deadline-related story, foxsports.com reporter Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter that teams are interested in backup first baseman and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, but Giambi would like to stay with the Rockies. According to Rosenthal, the team will consult Giambi before making a deal.

Jimenez makes his case

Ubaldo Jimenez would prefer not to be traded. On Tuesday night he did everything he could to let the Rockies know he wants to stay.

After he struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings of the Rockies’ 12-3 victory over the Braves, he was asked in several different ways if he would do anything to stop the club from dealing him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Well, he can do most anything on the mound. But when it comes to phone conversations between clubs, that’s where his power ends. He is not a general manager or an owner, and he doesn’t have a no-trade provision in his contract as leverage.

He was asked directly would he tell general manager Dan O’Dowd he doesn’t want to be traded.

“I think he already knows,” Jimenez said with an easy laugh. “But like I said before, they’re going to do anything that’s good for the team.”

While we’re on the good-for-the-team subject, something interesting has arisen during his last two starts. For much of this season, the team didn’t do much when he was on the mound. But in two starts after the break, the Rockies have scored 24 runs. Instead of not scoring runs for Jimenez, they’re not scoring runs for other guys.

What’s fueling all of this is the Rockies are not scoring runs and therefore not winning. To deal him, they’re going to have to get back a package of players who will correct the run problem. But they also need a bona fide starting pitcher. It’s not like there is an Ubaldo tree from which the club can pluck another Jimenez.

The question is whether the Rockies are better off letting Jimenez have his bad first two months of this season, and let the team have a bad year, or is the model so broken that they need to scrap it, even if it costs them a pitcher many said could not be developed by an organization that plays at altitude.

And besides pitching the way he has for nearly two months, Jimenez doesn’t have a say in the matter. Besides, if his pitching shows the Rockies how much they need him, it may encourage another team to make an offer the Rockies cant refuse.

He has two more starts — Sunday at Arizona and next July 30 at San Diego — before the deadline.

“I’ll just do what I’ve done the last five days,” Jimenez said. “Even before this game I had heard a lot of things. I got a lot of text messages, a lot of messages on Facebook asking, ‘Are you going to get traded? It’s the same thing. I’m going to keep doing my thing, keep working hard, showing up to the stadium and being myself.

“It’s a really tough situation. I’ll do anything possible not to think about it, but you’re a human being. Once in a while you’re going to think about it. So once the trade deadline passes, if I’m still here, I’m going to be happy about it. I won’t have to worry about that for a little bit.”

Tigers skipping top prospect Turner

If anything has changed in the Tigers’ recluctance to trade top prospect Jacob Turner, it isn’t showing in their actions. After Detroit moved up Turner two days in the rotation at Double-A Erie to pitch last Friday, the team is now skipping Turner from his next turn. He won’t pitch again until next Monday, six days before the July 31 trading deadline.

“We are monitoring his workload,” Tigers vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.

The Tigers have refused to part with their top pick from the 2009 Draft, brushing off several inquiries last offseason. If they’re going to make a run at Rockies top starter Ubaldo Jimenez, however, it might well require them to part with him. Yahoo Sports cited a source saying any trade package would have to include Turner.

Turner pitched in last week’s Futures Game as part of All-Star Week festivities in Phoenix, then the Eastern League All-Star Game three days later, then five innings in a start two days after that. He’s the best of the Tigers’ upper-level pitching prospects, and the one that hasn’t pitched in the Majors yet. Both Andy Oliver and Charlie Furbush started and struggled in Detroit this season.

The Tigers recalled Furbush to their bullpen Tuesday for what is expected to be primarily a long relief role, seemingly ending his starting candidacy for now. Oliver has struggled off and on at Triple-A Toledo since his return, though he reportedly pitched in front of a good number of scouts Sunday night.

It doesn’t look like the Tigers have zeroed in on Jimenez by any stretch. They’ve been scouting him, but their scouts have been spotted at plenty of games in various cities in recent days.

“They’re trying hard on a starting pitcher,” one Major League scout said.

- Jason Beck

If Phil is right, do the Yankees need Ubaldo?

That’s the question Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is likely pondering as the non-waiver Trade Deadline nears.

Anybody would want Ubaldo Jimenez — but at what cost?

With regards to the Yankees, the names that have surfaced as potential pieces to a deal are the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Novaand Jesus Montero (though SI.com is reporting Monday that Montero wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the potential trade, since the Rockies don’t view him as a catcher).

Since Jimenez is under club control for a while, is pretty affordable and isn’t really having a great year, the Rockies don’t feel much pressure to move him at this point. So it isn’t surprising that they’re asking so much for his services.

An added wrinkle is what took place on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre, when Phil Hughes registered his best start of the year — the type that made you feel he was getting awfully close to being the 18-game winner of 2010.

Now, the question is: If Hughes really is back, should the Yankees — with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Hughes at the top of their rotation, and Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Nova filling out the back end — give the Rockies what they want for Ubaldo?

Bombers Beat has more on that dilemma …

Alden

Rockies could be looking to deal, beyond Ubaldo Jimenez

The Rockies have established a high price for right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, one that may scare off most teams. But there could be other deals on the horizon.

The Rockies are willing to deal struggling right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, who is in the last stages of a $9.25 million salary for this season and has an $11 million option for 2012. But that’s been expected, especially with his struggles and those of the club.

But as the playoffs become a more remote possibility, information is surfacing that the Rockies could be willing to deal any of three key right-handed relievers — closer Huston Street (being paid $7.3 million this year, due for a $7.5 million salary next year and guaranteed a $500,000 buyout on a $9 million player option for 2013), Rafael Betancourt (being paid $4 million this year, $4 million next year and having a $250,000 buyout on a $4.25 million mutual option for 2013) and Matt Belisle (earning $2.35 million this year and $3.775 million next year). If they deal Street, the Rockies can go to righty Matt Lindstrom as closer.

–Thomas Harding

Yankees one of many interested in Ubaldo

The Yankees were one of 17 teams watching Ubaldo Jimenez pitch in Colorado on Thursday night, according to The New York Post, which attributed talent evaluators in saying New York has a “better than average” chance at acquiring the ace pitcher.

Jimenez has struggled to a 5-8 record and a 4.08 ERA in his first 18 starts this year, which could make him more attainable than in recent years — especially considering the Rockies are 8 1/2 games back of first place. An anonymous source told the Post Jimenez has pouted this year because Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez received large contract extensions this offseason and he didn’t.

“They are annoyed at him,” the source told the newspaper.

The Post added that the Rockies are interested in catching prospect Jesus Montero — who they see as a first baseman — along with Minor League pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.

The sense around baseball has been that those guys are untouchable. But Montero — activated from the 7-day disabled list on Friday — hasn’t been great in Triple-A this year. It’ll be interesting to see if the Yankees change their mindset if Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia scontinue to struggle in the second half.

Jimenez is surely affordable. He’s making $2.8 million in 2011 and is slated for $4.2 million in 2012. The Rockies then hold back-to-back club options for 2013 and ’14 (at $5.75 million and $8 million, respectively).

– Alden Gonzalez 

Stewart not in lineup for opener

Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was healthy enough to be on the roster for the Friday afternoon opener against the D-backs, but not healthy enough to start.

Ty Wigginton, signed as a free agent during the offseason, gets the start at third, and Jose Lopez, acquired in a trade with the Mariners, will start at second.

There had been talk of infield utility man Jonathan Herrera, who had an outstanding spring, (.371, four triples) getting the nod, possibly ahead of Lopez, but that was not to be. Herrera will be a versatile hitter off the bench.

Here’s the lineup:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Seth Smith, RF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Ty Wigginton, 3B

Jose Lopez, 2B

Chris Iannetta, C

Ubaldo Jimenez, P

– Thomas Harding

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