Are the Cleveland Indians bluffing?
If writers like Buster Olney are correct that the control lies with the teams with free agents who declined qualifying offers, then Jimenez will inevitably end up in negotiations with his old team.
But right now, with no discernible market for the right-handed starter, the Indians reportedly have not been in contact with Jimenez:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 10, 2014
That in itself does not signal anything alarming for Jimenez’s people, but then there is this report from Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500:
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) February 10, 2014
Now, the Indians’ reported “inquiry” about Santana might not have had any substance whatsoever. Like, they might have contacted Santana’s representation and said: “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we signed your guy instead of Ubaldo, even though it would cost us a draft pick, just to be spiteful?” Then both sides laughed, hung up, and told reporters that it was an inquiry.
Whatever it is, Santana to the Indians makes no sense as long as Ubaldo Jimenez is still seeking work. It will be interesting to see if Jimenez gets a bite from a team like the Toronto Blue Jays, as has been reported, or if he ends up being forced to re-engage with the Indians.