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Pros and Cons of Indians Trading for Rockies Ace Ubaldo Jimenez

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies stands on the mound after giving up four runs during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 30, 2011 in San Diego, California. In a recent announcement Jimenez has been traded to the Cleveland Indians.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Sam TothContributor IIIJuly 31, 2011

Last night’s trade for Rockies ace Ubaldo Jiminez was met with a (somewhat surprising) backlash on twitter. Fans were immediately calling for the heads of Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti. Witches in Salem were given a better benefit of the doubt.

I know I contributed to the angst with some of my over-reactionary well-thought-out tweets:

Now, I’m normally not “prospect guy,” but my initial reaction was to vehemently oppose the trade for the following reasons:

  • Drew Pomeranz is the golden god of pitching.
  • Alex White wasn’t just a prospect anymore. Before an injury, he showed off his stuff in the big leagues.
  • They were top two pitching prospects in the farm and only real top-of-the-rotation caliber guys to look forward to.
  • Trading your prospects is often a terrible idea.
  • We gave up more for a Cy Young POTENTIAL guy than we did for TWO Cy Young WINNERS combined.
  • Ubaldo Jiminez didn’t even have one great year. He had one great half a year.
  • He has lost four mph on his pitch. No one seems to know why.

But, alas, I have had a night to sleep it off, and I'm a huge homer. In my heart, I’m an irrational fan and will talk myself into literally every and any move my favorite team makes. As evidenced by a tweet just a few mere hours after the all the aforementioned over-reactionary well-thought-out tweets:

So here’s hoping you’re not diabetic, because I’m about to serve up some Kool-Aid…

The bright side of this trade:

  • Ubaldo didn’t just have one great half a year. He had an INSANE half a year. His arm is “electric.”
  • The deal is contingent on Jiminez passing a physical performed by Indians doctors. So if the decline in his speed is due to some medical issue, the deal is off.
  • While his club option for 2014 was voided in the trade (which sucks), he is still not a rental player. This team is going to be built compete for the next three years.
  • For once, the team is showing a commitment to winning now. There’s no “I swear we’ll be competitive in five years, just please keep coming to games” message here from the ownership. So that’s nice.
  • Who knows how Alex White’s finger will recover?
  • Drew Pomeranz has pitched in like three minor league games.
  • Our rotation is now Jiminez – Masterson – Tomlin – Carmona – Carrasco/Huff. As Ron Burgundy once said, “Don’t act like you’re not impressed.”

After the Indians started off 30-15, they have been 23-36, which is fourth worst in all of baseball. And a lot of good points have been raised that you don’t sell your future when your team is simply not that good this year.

Whatever.

It’s almost August, and we’re 1.5 games out of first place. I don’t care how badly they have played the past three months; we are still in the thick of this playoff race.

Yes, they still need a right-handed bat. They should have taken care of that problem. But if Shin-Shoo Choo and Grady Sizemore return to anywhere near their capable abilities, this team can be poised for a run in October.

And once you make it to the dance, it is all about pitching, an area where the Indians are now improved for this year, thanks to this trade.

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