MLB Trade Rumors: Why Ubaldo Jimenez Should Go to the Detroit Tigers

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIJuly 26, 2011

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 24:  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 24, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ubaldo Jimenez is the best starting pitcher on the trade market right now by a long shot. Although he hasn't had the best season so far, he definitely has the most upside.

The Detroit Tigers are the most likely suitor for Jimenez.

So far Jimenez has six wins with nine losses and an ERA hovering around 4.00. Looking past the numbers, Jimenez is only 27 years old. In a full season before this year has never won less than 12 games in a season.

Pretty good considering he was on some bad Rockies teams—other than the pennant year.

Jimenez is worth whatever prospects the Tigers have to spend and whatever prospects they may have to give up.

Pitching in the American League is notoriously harder than the National League because you face nine hitters, but Jimenez can succeed in the AL. He has the stuff to do it and he's young enough that he will continue to develop as a pitcher.

Now let's imagine him in the AL Central as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers rotation would consist of Justin Verlander, Ubaldo Jimenez, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, and Brad Penny. Not bad.

He goes up against the Twins, White Sox, Indians, and Royals. He's due to pitch pretty well against the caliber of hitting on all of those teams.

Jimenez could send the Tigers over the brink on the way to a division championship in 2011 and possibly more.

The only road block to making this move a reality is what Detroit may have to give up.

Currently, Jimenez's contract is pretty lengthy and a bit pricey. He's due to make $2.8 million this season, $4.2 million next season, and he has 2013 and 2014 club options along with a ton of bonuses.

Detroit may not be willing to pick up his entire contract if they are only looking for a short rental.

Also, Colorado is going to be asking for top prospects. Will Detroit be willing to give them up? Maybe, maybe not.

Throwing a few names out there who appear to be untouchable include RHP Jacob Turner and LHP Andy Oliver. Both are young guys and the future of this organization. The Tigers won't be willing to part ways with them just yet.

Perhaps the Tigers would be willing to lose 3B Nick Castellanos or maybe RHP Jose Ortega?

Castellanos is the future at third base and maybe the Tigers want to hold on to him a bit longer to see where his OBP goes along with his power.

Jose Ortega is the most likely pitcher to go. He has a tremendously powerful bullpen arm but no control. Maybe the Rockies are hoping they can develop that as Ortega is still only 22 years old.

RHP Brayan Villarreal could be another name on the move within the Tigers organization. He has been said to have good stuff.

Jimenez could be the catalyst to push the Tigers over the edge in the central.