Cleveland Indians Acquire Ubaldo Jimenez: Winners and Losers
The Ubaldo Jimenez saga is finally over: the 27 year old flamethrower is now a member of the Cleveland Indians.
Of course in a deal of this magnitude, there are destined to be a fair number of winners and losers.
Here is a list of the teams and players who will benefit the most and the least from this deal.
Winner #1: Cleveland Indians
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Of course when a team that needs starting pitching acquires an ace, safe to say they will make out a winner.
Cleveland's pitching this season has been capable, which is not a word you want to use to describe the starting rotation of a potential playoff team. They are 19th in the majors in ERA (4.00) and 18 in Opponent's OPS (.716). Jimenez should help lower both of these numbers.
This deal also takes a ton of pressure off of Justin Masterson, who is the team's current #1 starter. While Masterson could certainly hold his own against CC Sabathia or Justin Verlander, he now gets a much more favorable matchup against, say, AJ Burnett or Max Scherzer.
Cleveland now has one of the best 1-2 punches in the majors with Jimenez and Masterson. Add in Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin, and suddenly Cleveland has the starting pitching to compete with anyone down the stretch.
Loser #1: New York Yankees
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Bartolo Colon's importance to the Yankees just grew exponentially.
The Yankees refusal to offer Colorado a deal of Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, and either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. New York Post columnist Joel Sherman tweeted that the Yankees pulled all of these names off the table and instead offered a deal revolving around Phil Hughes.
Predictably, Colorado shot them down. The Yankees will now be going to war with a five man rotation of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Colon, Hughes, and Freddie Garcia.
Winner #2: Cleveland's Bullpen
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Only Baltimore's starting pitchers have thrown fewer innings than Cleveland's. Jimenez has thrown 638.1 innings from 2008 to 2010, and is projected to throw another 186 this season.
While Cleveland's bullpen has done a great job this season, their top three relief pitchers (Chad Durbin, Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp) are all on pace to throw at least 64.1 innings this season. Closer Chris Perez leads all closers that have 20+ saves with 5 losses.
By adding Jimenez, a threat to throw a complete game whenever he starts, Cleveland's bullpen will get some much needed rest.
Loser #2: Detroit Tigers
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Detroit was one of the teams interested in acquiring Jimenez, however Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted that, in order to get this deal done, they would have had to package star pitching prospect Justin Turner with Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
Prior to this deal, Cleveland would have to trot out Justin Masterson to face Cy Young contender Justin Verlander. While Masterson is certainly able to hold his own against Verlander, he would now get a more favorable matchup against Scherzer, Porcello, or Turner.
Winner #3: Jack Zduriencik
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The person happiest about Colorado's haul for Jimenez? Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik.
If a team like the Yankees miss the playoffs or are bounced early, they will predictably ask about the availability of Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. Zduriencik will be able to point out that, in their deal for Jimenez, Colorado was able to get Cleveland's top two pitching prospects in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz.
In Zduriencik's eyes, if it took that much to pry Jimenez away from Colorado, it would take just as much if not more to get Hernandez.
Loser #3: Colorado Rockies
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While Colorado may very well end up being the winners in this deal three years down the road, for the immediate future they are the losers.
After their scalding hot start at the beginning of the season, Colorado cooled off considerably.
That process would have required three players to play their best ball: Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Jimenez. Now, with CarGo hurt and Jimenez gone, it appears Colorado has given up on this season.