FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the Tigers have strong interest in Ubaldo Jimenez and that they’re willing to give up their most prized minor leaguer to get him.
That minor leaguer would be 20-year-old Jacob Turner, who has gone 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA and a 90/32 K/BB ratio in 113 2/3 innings for Double-A Erie this season. He’s one of baseball’s top 10 pitching prospects, and the Rockies were certain to require him as part of a Jimenez deal.
Of course, it sounds like the Rockies are holding out for at least two and preferably three top prospects in return for their ace. The Tigers are pretty shallow when it comes to prospects, though they do have a very promising third baseman in Nick Castellanos to potentially pair with Turner.
As mentioned earlier, the Red Sox and Indians are also in pursuit of Jimenez.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.