As frustrating as this off-season has been for free agent starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, things might work out fine for him in the end. The main reason for optimism on Jimenez’s part is the presence of the Toronto Blue Jays, in desperate need of help in the rotation and quiet as of yet this off-season.
If the Blue Jays sign Jimenez, it won’t be about draft pick compensation or dollars or anything else. The core reason for such a move would be the need to try and keep up in the AL East, especially one year removed from making a splashy trade with the Miami Marlins and signing R.A. Dickey and then not having those moves pay dividends.
Buster Olney of ESPN says that the Blue Jays are still likely to sign a pitcher this off-season:
TOR uniquely positioned to wait for the remaining starting pitching market to come to them, and they’ll get somebody good at a good price.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 1, 2014
Jon Heyman of CBS writes that a match between the Blue Jays and Jimenez seems to be a good fit:
The Blue Jays are believed one of three teams currently in the mix, though Toronto is said to be waiting before making offers considering the unknown market to date. One exec who knows Jimenez well said he believes Toronto would be an ideal fit for Jimenez, a smart and worldly sort.
With respect to Heyman, I don’t know that it will be Jimenez’s “worldly” side that will be making this decision…
The Blue Jays cannot afford to do nothing this off-season. They will make a move before Spring Training, and if Jimenez is available at that moment, it seems likely that they will pull the trigger and try to sign him.