According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox are “aggressively pursuing” Ubaldo Jimenez, while others think the Indians are a “big threat” to land the Rockies right-hander.
Heyman says the Reds and Blue Jays also remain interested and that the Yankees are lurking.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark, on the other hand, reports that the Yankees’ interest “seems to be waning” and that they may now be focused more on Hiroki Kuroda.
From the Rockies’ perspective, the Indians might be a more attractive suitor than the Red Sox. In Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, they have two pitching prospects superior to any that Boston can offer. Not that they’d necessarily be willing to part with both. But they can build an offer around one of the two and maybe outfielder Nick Weglarz. They’d almost certainly have the best shot of landing Jimenez if they were willing to trade one of the two pitchers and either third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall or second baseman Jason Kipnis.
The Red Sox can’t match that top-level talent, not after trading both Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly for Adrian Gonzalez over the winter. They do have a lot of depth, though, and they could potentially offer the Rockies four or five significant prospects for Jimenez and outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.
An Ubaldo trade looked like a long shot a week ago, and it’s still likely less than 50/50 to get done. But the way the rumors are heating up suggests that the odds have gotten shorter these last 48 hours.
Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.
It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.
Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.
The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.