30 July 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland Analysis

Did not hear of many people predicting this trade but alas, the top pitcher on the trade market, Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies, has been dealt the Cleveland Indians for four top prospects, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride. Continue reading for my analysis of the trade.
Despite the fact that Jimenez has not been as lights-out as he was the last couple of seasons in Denver he was still the top prize on the kinda weak pitching market. The Rockies have fallen out of playoff contention and were wise to trade him and collect some really good pieces to build with. It is always tough to give up a pitcher that has the talent that Jimenez has, especially when he is under team control for many years as he was in Colorado, they had to make this move.
There is reason to believe that Jimenez will not be as good as he was over the last couple of years. Tom Verducci had an excellent article about how pitchers in Denver start to break down after they throw 500 innings in the thin air. Guys like Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, and Jason Jennings, all promising in their own right but no Ubaldo, all saw their careers start to be marred by injuries once they hit that plateau. It's a trend that one cannot ignore.
The Indians were such a surprise at the beginning of the season but their luster has worn off at late and they have been fading in the tight AL Central. They needed an upgrade to their young rotation and thus Jimenez is a good fit. While he is not pitching that great by his own standards, he has still been better than most this season. For a team desperate to stay in contention to keep a fanbase interested, it's a bold move that comes with a steep price. However, the reward could see a playoff appearance, which would go over splendidly in the beleaguered city of Cleveland.
Good trade all around.

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