New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Is Adding Ubaldo Jimenez the Right Move?

Kate Conroy@@ladylovespinsSenior Analyst IIJuly 28, 2011

George A. King of the New York Post reports that the New York Yankees are still keeping a close eye on Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

King confirms that a Yankees scout was in Denver for the second time in a week on Tuesday night, and not to watch the Rockies beat up on the Atlanta Braves. Just to see if Jimenez could.


How Much to Bring Jimenez's Talents to the Bronx?

The Rockies have made it clear that it will take a mountain of top prospects to move Jimenez out of the Mile High City.

The Rockies have mentioned a package containing Yankee prospects catcher Jesus Montero, right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances and left-hander Manny Banuelos.

Just the thought of that price sent Yankee Universe into a rage, but what else could be expected?

Essentially, if the Rockies ship off Jimenez, they are throwing in the towel. That is a total slap across the Rockies players’ faces, as this is a team whose reputation was built on being second-half slayers.

Personally, I am pessimistic about the Yankees giving up Banuelos to any team. Maybe because I have trailed this kid’s career since he inked in Mexico with the Bombers.

In my humble opinion, this 19-year-old lefty is something special. I just hope the Yankees don’t screw this one up.

GM Brain Cashman could add another arm, like Adam Warren or Andrew Brackman, in the deal with Montero and Betances.

Brackman has not been great this season, but he has made some positive baby steps. Brackman has been too erratic, which brings his value down considerably.

What Would the Yankees Be Getting?

Other than that my issue with Banuelos, the 27-year-old Jimenez is well worth the price tag. This season, Jimenez is 6-8 in 19 starts, including two complete games, with one shutout.

Jimenez has pitched 117 innings total, a 4.00 ERA with 108 strikeouts and 45 walks, giving up 10 home runs and 52 earned runs. His walk numbers are high, but Jimenez has held batters to a .244 average.

Overall, Jimenez is young and talented. His record and ERA don’t tell the story, as the Rockies have been underachieving big time this season.

Jimenez started 2011 going 0-5, but in his last 10 starts, he is 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA, issuing only 15 walks and striking out a whooping 63.

With barely any legit starters available, the Rockies have the advantage, as 17 teams sent scouts to watch Jimenez within the last week.

Whether the Yankees season hinders on acquiring another solid starter like Jimenez is a crap shoot at this point, but I don’t see how it could hurt.


How Risky Are the Yankees' Alternatives?

Truth remains that counting on Bartolo Colon, Freddie Garcia and even Phil Hughes grinding it out through the playoffs is a tad far-fetched. It sounds idiotic because no one expected the two veterans to make it this far, as Colon and Garcia have exceeded expectations already.

Hanging off a steep ledge for the rest of the season just adds pressure, and the Yankees know that they might not survive like that.

Looking at the situation from a statistical and injury history angle, it is almost unfair not to take measures. In Yankee language, this would translate to fans that this season is not very important if Cashman sits on his hands.

Then, outings like this past Tuesday night happen. Fans watched Colon vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, and it made me realize that he can still pitch darn well.

The Yankees lost 3-2, but that was no fault of Colon, as he pitched six solid innings, giving up just one run and fanned nine Rays in total.

The loss could have been easily avoidable, and it broke up a three-game winning streak. Luckily, the Orioles finally beat the Red Sox, so the standings stay at a standstill with the Yankees trailing by a game-and-a-half.

This definitely was something the Yankees needed to see after Colon’s two earlier starts since coming off the DL he had posted an ERA over 11.

It was clear that Colon was not favoring his left hamstring anymore, as he admitted that injury concern had hampered his pitching mechanics initially.

Unfortunately, Colon’s start only relieved pressure off Cashman for a moment, as it was reported on LoHud Yankees Blog that prospect pitcher Ivan Nova had to leave his start in Triple A with a sore right ankle in the second inning.

Nova had already posted three strikeouts. The Yankees are waiting for the exact diagnosis, so whether Nova will make his next start is unknown.

While it doesn’t sound serious, Nova gave Cashman some breathing room to not make a panic and desperate move.

Rumors that the Yankees bosses are already feeling the urgency became clear when Cashman alluded to the fact that he “has bosses” that have gone over the GM’s head, aka Rafael Soriano.

My guess is the baby Steins doesn’t want another slip-up like the Cliff Lee-Mariners-Rangers trade. It is comforting to know that the boss’ sons like to win their good old dad and will drop the hammer when needed.


What Fans Can Expect

My advice to Yankee fans is to be ready for the next week, as insinuations will be flying all over the media.

Don’t hold your breath expecting the Yankees to make a move any earlier than when the clock strikes midnight on July 31st.

There is no guarantee it will be Jimenez, but I will be shocked if there is not a new player in Yankee pinstripes before the trade deadline, and that does not include Cashman shopping at the bargain bin.

This time it is quality before quantity.


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