Cleveland Indians: Tracking the Prospects Traded for Ubaldo Jimenez
It will be the trade that will define general manager Chris Antonetti's career.
It was certainly one of the biggest deals of the last few years.
Ubaldo Jimenez, fresh off a 19-8 season where he sported a 2.88 ERA, was dealt to the Cleveland Indians despite having three more years of control on his contract for prospects Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner and Matt McBride.
Jimenez was in the midst of a down year, and Pomeranz and White were constantly being hyped up in Cleveland to astronomical proportions.
Both sides questioned the deal, so speculation will surround it for years to come.
So why not start early? This slideshow will update you on where Pomeranz, White, Gardner and McBride are and how they have been playing since switching teams.
1B/OF Matt McBride
Matt McBride has played for the Rockies' Double-A Tulsa team, and done exactly what was expected of him—next to nothing.
McBride was included in the deal as just an organizational filler. He obviously was going nowhere in the Indians organization, and the Tribe were looking to promote Beau Mills from Double-A Akron to play first base, where McBride spent most of his games at Triple-A Columbus.
In the Rockies organization, McBride is just a guy to fill out the lineup card at the Triple-A level. There's a chance that he could see the occasional big league action since both Jason Giambi and Todd Helton are close to retirement.
But in order to do that, McBride has to improve his .235/.278/.235 slash line. There isn't much for Cleveland to miss in this bat.
SP Joe Gardner
Joe Gardner entered the year in talks as one of the Tribe's top 10 prospects.
He may have one of the best sinkers in the minors, but that didn't do much for him at Double-A Akron in 2011. Before being dealt, Gardner held a 4.99 ERA after breezing through the lower levels of the minors.
Control was probably the main culprit, as he had a 4.3 BB/9 rate. Walks have always been an issue for the former third-round pick, as his career rate is 3.7 BB/9. But that soon changed once he arrived in Tulsa.
In six starts with the new club, Gardner lowered his walk rate to 2.0 BB/9 and his ERA in those six starts is 2.48.
That powerful sinker has always been there, and with his control seemingly in check Gardner has the potential to reach the top 100 prospects list although the Indians saw him as damaged goods.
SP Alex White
Hopes were high for Alex White in 2011. The 2009 first-round pick was poised to break in with the big league club and be one of the first glances into the future.
That glance didn't last long. After three starts, White injured a tendon in his middle finger and missed three months of action.
During those three months he was dealt to the Rockies.
White's injury seemed eerily similar to the one that derailed the career of former top prospect Adam Miller. While the Indians' brass stated on many occasions that it was not the same, the injury to White was still severe. Now that he's pitching in Colorado, White has looked terrible.
In five starts since returning from the DL, White has only a 5.5 K/9 and a 4.6 BB/9 that led to his gruesome 8.46 ERA.
Whether or not White returns healthy next year will be a big factor in deciding who got the better end of the deal.
SP Drew Pomeranz
It still sickens me to see Drew Pomeranz outside of the Indians organization.
Everything pointed to the tall, left-hander being a Cy Young-caliber player. Thus far it seems that those predictions could be true.
After throwing 10 scoreless innings at Double-A Tulsa after the trade, Pomeranz had an emergency appendectomy that would probably end his season. Coincidentally, the season ended around the same time he would've finished recovering.
Instead of shutting down the fifth overall pick in 2010, the Rockies opted to just have him skip Triple-A and join their rotation.
They made the right choice.
Pomeranz threw five scoreless innings in his debut and impressed again in 5.2 innings in his second start. He now holds a 1.69 ERA and 0.938 WHIP.
His K/9 rate (5.9) and BB/9 rate (3.4) aren't ideal, but we are talking about a kid who was pitching in college just over a year ago and skipped Triple-A.
Pomeranz should go on to have a long and illustrious career—probably nowhere near Cleveland.