Rockies Trade Ace Ubaldo Jimenez To The Cleveland Indians
In what became the biggest trade at the trading deadline, the Colorado Rockies traded their ace pitcher 27 year old Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for four prospects, two being highly ranked pitching prospects. The Rockies fell out of contention after a hot start to the season. The Indians, who i don’t think were given a chance to be a playoff team this year started the season off hot and have maintained pace in the AL Central although they are two games out of first place behind the Detroit Tigers currently. They have surprised many people with there great play through the first four months of the season. Now that they are out of first place, which they were in for a majority of the first three and a half months of the season, they needed a front line starter to solidify their rotation. Now they got one in Ubaldo Jimenez. They did give up a hefty package of prospects to obtain Jimenez, including pitchers Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. In the deal, Colorado also got back pitcher Joe Gardner and utility man Matt McBride. White was rated the 47th best prospect entering 2011 according to Baseball America and Pomeranz the 61st best prospect. McBride was having a solid season at AA Akron batting .297 with 14 HRs , 53 RBIs and a .359 OBP , .535 SLUG equating into a .894 OPS, which got him a promotion to AAA Columbus where he has started off very slow in 12 games so far. Gardner isn’t having such a good season so far in AA Akron where he is sporting a 7-8 record and a 4.99 ERA. He has 60 strikeouts and 47 walks in 97.1 innings. He also has a 1.59 WHIP which is not good at all. The Indians made this deal so they have Jimenez for two more years after this year and so they can have a legit ace to help them get to the playoffs and win the AL Central division. A 1-2 punch of Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson isn’t bad for a young upstart team chasing a playoff spot. Many people say why would the Rockies trade Jimenez who is still under control through next year with a $5.75 million club option for 2013 and $8 million club option for 2014. Well Jimenez had a Cy Young caliber 2010 season going 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA striking out 214 batters to go along with a 1.15 WHIP. He finished third in Cy Young voting. This season he is 6-9 with 4.46 ERA with 118 K’s in 123 innings and a 1.37 WHIP. He has lost 3 MPH off his fastball and he has been more wild. There are concerns there is something wrong with his arm but nothing has come up this season. People think he was just a one year wonder and is falling apart at a young age and don’t know how a 27 year old pitcher can lose 3 MPH off his fastball. Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd was smart to pull the trigger on the deal with the Indians as he gets back four prospects and two big ones that can replenish there system and be future top of the rotation starters for them. Alex White and Drew Pomeranz project to be top of the rotation starters and possible sure fire #1’s. Pomeranz has shown to be a strikeout machine in the minors posting 11.1 K’s per 9 innings in high A ball and 10.9 K’s in AA ball. Alex White is a ground ball pitcher with an alright K’s rate. For the Rockies to get these two pitching prospects means a lot because now they get rid of possible damaged goods in Ubaldo Jimenez and get two top flight prospects back and two other solid minor pieces for the future. With Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez anchoring the offense in the major league level and no big named pitchers on the Rockies staff, they will have two possible future aces join the staff in 2012 along with injured Jorge De La Rosa. Barring any injuries, both White and Pomeranz should be at the major league level together by opening day 2013. White is already up in the majors and Pomeranz recently was promoted to AA. Gardner is projected to possibly be a solid bullpen guy come in the future and by the way McBride is hitting in the minors, he could maybe make a splash in the majors not too long from now. The Indians simply made this deal to show the fans they are committed to winning this year and in the coming years. It’s a risky move by Cleveland to trade for a guy who has lost 3 mph off his fastball and give up four prospects with two being top 75 pitching prospects. It’s a solid trade by Colorado as they get really solid pieces for the future for a guy who may be breaking down at a young age. If everything pans out well for the Rockies, they will have made a great trade when they look back on this in a few years. Great trade for Colorado it looks to me and we will have to wait and see how Ubaldo adjusts to a new league,division and batters to see if Cleveland also made a good deal. It’s a deal both teams, to me, had to make.