If you spent a little time on MLB Daily Dish this afternoon you probably saw the Colorado Rockies trade rumors. One of the bigger names swirling around the rumor mill right now is Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimemez. Buster Olney says that trading for Ubaldo Jimenez is worth the risk (insider required).
First of all, Jimenez' contract is extremely friendly. He'll make $4.2 million in 2012, with 2013 and 2014 options for $5.75 million and $8 million respectively. The 2014 option is voided if he is traded.
Olney suggests that at those salaries, a team could end up with an absolute financial steal by acquiring an ace pitcher capable of dominating offenses for long stretches the way he did during the first half of the 2010 season. At worst, Jimenez is still an above average MLB pitcher who is paid below market value.
As expected, the price in prospects will be high. Olney mentions that the Detroit Tigers are interested but may not have the prospects to offer (as good as Jimenez has shown he can be, I don't think the Tigers are willing to build a deal around Jacob Turner).
The New York Yankees, seemingly always in the middle of the juicy rumors, were also mentioned as a team that could become involved - especially if Bartolo Colon's and Freddy Garcia's recent struggles continue. Olney says that the Yankees have the prospects to pull a deal off and mentions Ivan Nova's name specifically. It will take a lot more than Nova to land Jimenez, but Yankees fans would do back flips if Brian Cashman acquired the right-hander without giving up top pitching prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
I find it very surprising that Jimenez is on the block at all. A lot of teams are convinced that the Rockies will trade Jimenez in the off-season if they don't trade him at the deadline. My question is 'why'? They have their offensive pillars in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez and they have some nice young pitchers to compliment Jimenez in Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin. I suppose they could use a little more juice in their lineup, but I'm not sure trading Jimenez is the answer.
Despite the buzz that he is creating on the rumor mill, I would not be surprised if Ubaldo Jimenez starts and finishes the 2012 season in Denver as a member of the Colorado Rockies.