David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Free Agency: the narrow market for Ubaldo Jimenez


The ups and downs of Ubaldo Jimenez‘s career would make him a risky big-money investment no matter what. A free agent this winter, he claims to want somewhere between $17 and $20 million a year.

Any year that might be regarded as Jimenez overplaying his hand. That is especially the case, however, in a year when he will cost his new team a draft pick and there are other free agent studs available, including Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and even Bronson Arroyo.

David Schoenfield of ESPN writes the following about potential landing spots for Jimenez:

Bottom line: Teams are clearly reluctant to pay big money and surrender a first-round pick for Jimenez (That signals a return to Cleveland or signing with a team whose first-round pick is protected — Seattle or Toronto being the best bets).”

If Jimenez wants the big money, that will have to come from either the Mariners or the Blue Jays. They would make the most sense, and the Mariners especially might be prone to overpay if after they miss out on Tanaka. As for Toronto, they are known to want help in the starting rotation, but like every team in the league they are skeptical about that kind of money for Jimenez.

And then there’s the Indians, who definitely will not pay him big money or offer a long term deal, but are more than happy to wait if he comes back with his tail between his legs.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Toronto Blue Jays Ubaldo Jimenez

  • Gary Kimbrel

    The articles and industry comments coming out about Jimenez strike me as a concerted, co-operative effort by clubs to keep his price down. The corporate-owned media is designed to send out whatever word the clubs need. When negotiating, you use whatever strategy you can, absolutely. This is a great example of how aggressive and underhanded this economic model is. And we live in it.