Ubaldo Jimenez has turned down the $14 million qualifying offer from the Cleveland Indians. As a result, the starting pitcher will enter the free agent market in hopes of cashing in on the last half of last season. This was an expected move as the Tribe made the offer knowing full well that Jimenez was likely going to reject it, thereby guaranteeing they would get the draft considerations to try to replace him.
Much of Jimenez’s time in Cleveland was inconsistent, but during the last few months of this season, he not only figured things out, but was downright dominant and looked the part of an ace. That is the debate that front offices will have in regards to how much to pay and how hard they will pursue Jimenez.
The other part of this resurgence from Jimenez is the job done by Indians pitching coach, Mickey Calloway, who deserves some of the credit for the turnaround. The hope for the Indians is that Calloway can get similar dominance out of young, talented pitchers including Danny Salazar and the prize in the Shin-Soo Choo trade, Trevor Bauer. Combined with the likely loss of free agent pitcher Scott Kazmir, the Indians are tasked with replacing 40% of their starting rotation.
Jimenez suddenly becomes one of the more intriguing free agents as he has flashed dominance at times in his career, but had struggled with consistency and is 29 years old.