The Cleveland Indians have been enduring a spiraling free fall since the middle of June. The once-first place Indians have seen their AL Central lead evaporate, and they are now losing ground rapidly to the Detroit Tigers. Sources around MLB have the Indians as potential buyers before the trade deadline.
The most recent rumors now have the Indians pursuing starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimemez of the Colorado Rockies. It is clear that the Rockies are willing to deal their ace for the right price. So what are the chances that the Indians swing a deal for Jimenez?
Quite low, I would say. First of all, the rotation has hardly been a problem for the Tribe. Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin have been consistently solid. Carlos Carrasco is developing into a quality pitcher. The most troublesome pitcher in the rotation has been Fausto Carmona, who has been prone to disastrous outings. However, Carmona has posted consecutive quality outings and appears to have fixed a few things. In addition, Alex White will return to the rotation next year and ultra-prospect Drew Pomeranz will be in the majors sooner than later.
Secondly, the Tribe's recent failures are largely to blame on the offense. The timely hitting is gone and the team's hitting is atrocious. The losses of Grady Sizemore and Shin Soo-Choo have left the offense and outfield barren. What the Indians need is an outfield bat, preferably a right-handed one, who can bring some spark into the lineup.
One aspect about Jimenez that really appeals to the Indians is that he would be under their control until 2014. He would also solidify a rotation that is young and largely inexperienced.
The problem for the Indians in this scenario is what they would have to give up in the deal. Multiple prosepcts, including one of the top prospects in the system would have to be surrendered to obtain Jimenez. Trading Kipnis, White, Chisenhall or Pomeranz would be a major loss for a team building for the future.
The Indians' chances of acquiring outfielders Hunter Pence or Carlos Beltran are quite slim; the chances of Cleveland landing Jimenez is equally as bleak.