Ubaldo Jimenez is a very good young pitcher with lots of potential. But does he make New York a World Series favorite?
The title of this slide show may lead many to believe that I am not a fan of Ubaldo Jimenez. That couldn't be further from the truth.
I think Jimenez is a very talented young pitcher. He's had an uneven season to this point, but just look at his 2010 first half if you want a glimpse of his potential.
The Colorado Rockies know what they have in Jimenez: a potential ace with an affordable contract. It's for that reason the New York Yankees shouldn't feel obligated to make a move for the flame-throwing right-hander.
The Yankees are not excited to trade 20-year-old prospect Manny Banuelos. I wouldnt be either.
When I say the Rockies are asking for too much, it really means they're not shopping Jimenez at a discount. They have every right to ask for three top-tier prospects for a pitcher of Jimenez's caliber—I would too.
But that price should lead the Yankees to bow out of this race.
I would move Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances for Jimenez in a heartbeat, but including Manuel Banuelos in that deal makes it far less desirable.
Banuelos' Double-A numbers this season don't blow you away (4-5, 3.59 ERA, 94:52 K:BB) but at just 20, he's extremely young for that level. With everything taken into account, a 3.59 ERA isn't all that bad.
The bloom has come off Montero's rose this season as he's struggled to hit for power. He's still a very good hitting prospect, but the Yankees have plenty of catchers in their system.
Betances has similar numbers to Banuelos at Trenton (4-5, 3.43 ERA, 98:49 K:BB), but he's also three years older. He's a good prospect, but not a stud like Banuelos.
If the Yankees can get a deal done without moving Banuelos and two good prospects, they should.
If not, I think standing pat is the wise move.
The Yankees want another World Series trophy. Trading the whole farm for Ubaldo Jimenez doesnt guarantee it.
The Yankees have a great lineup—that's a fact. They also have a solid bullpen, even without Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano, who is set to return soon.
Most would think that adding a second ace, especially a hard-throwing right-hander to complement the left-handed C.C. Sabathia, would be the move to put them over the top.
Jimenez would be a great addition to the Yankees, and many would expect automatic improvement going from Coors Field to Yankee Stadium.
Despite allowing 33 home runs in his Coors Field career compared to 22 on the road, Jimenez's home ERA (3.67) isn't far behind his road ERA (3.58).
Yankee Stadium may have thicker air, but it's still a bandbox.
New York would still have issues with their third and maybe even fourth starter (if necessary) in the playoffs as Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia haven't done enough to inspire confidence as the season wears on.
Joe Girardi knows his team is pretty set in a playoff spot.
The Yankees don't need to make a big move to get into the playoffs. And as most baseball fans know, once you're in, anything can happen.
If New York were in a tight wild-card race, they might be more inclined to pay the going rate for Jimenez.
Since they aren't, I'm not so sure it's a move they need to make.
Brian Cashman has taken heat in the past for mortgaging the Yankees farm system to buy players. Will history repeat itself?
If the Yankees learned anything from the early 2000s, it was that World Series are not bought.
After winning three straight titles from 1998-2000, the Yankees went into an eight-year drought that saw seven different World Series champions.
It was during these seasons that the Yankees had very little help from their farm system. By relying on big-money free agents who failed, whether due to injury or ineffectiveness (Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano come to mind), the Yankees put themselves in some tough spots.
The team didn't have the prospects to make trades to replace injured and ineffective signings, and players who could come up and help the team in a pinch were few and far between.
Over the past few seasons, the Yankees have done well to hang on to home-grown talent such as Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain. While the pitchers are still growing, Cano is arguably the best hitter on a team full of high-profile free agents.
The recipe for championships in baseball is home-grown talent combined with free agents acquisitions who are good fits.
That's how the Yankees have done business lately, and I'd like to keep it that way.