The Cleveland Indians have extended a $14.1 million qualifying option to Ubaldo Jimenez, who came up big during the second half of the season and was one of the reasons they were able to qualify for the playoffs. The expectation is that Jimenez will turn down the offer and opt to go into free agency, but the Indians had to make the offer to secure they would get picks in the Major League Baseball Draft when he opts to sign elsewhere.
Jimenez had already declined his option for the 2014 season, so it would be a huge surprise if Jimenez were to take accept this qualifying offer. The talented but inconsistent pitcher is looking to cash in on this past season’s stretch run and get a big contract elsewhere in the free agent market. There are always teams that are willing to pay a ton of money for a starting pitcher with the potential talent that Jimenez has displayed. In his time with the Colorado Rockies and this past season with the Indians, Jimenez has had stretches where he was considered to be a Cy Young caliber pitcher and he hopes to get paid like one.
The Indians are a small market baseball team, so this exit is entirely expected but they are making the moves necessary to secure they get the draft picks for his leaving and try to make the best of an expected albeit disappointing situation for Indians fans. The team has to replace 40% of their starting rotation from this past season as Scott Kazmir is also expected to end up elsewhere after he had a good season for the Tribe.