Why did the Yankees end their pursuit of Ubaldo Jimenez?

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As recently as yesterday afternoon Tim Kurkjian of ESPN reported that the Yankees were “all over” Ubaldo Jimenez, but once the Rockies ace was traded to the Indians much different details emerged about New York’s interest level.

According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger the Yankees’ pursuit of Jimenez essentially ended several days ago when the Rockies refused to let him take a pre-trade physical exam and scared off general manager Brian Cashman with their prospect demands.

Given that the Rockies ended up with an impressive four-player package led by Drew Pomeranz and Alex White it’s easy to see why the Yankees may have balked at their asking price, which Carig reports as Ivan Nova plus two of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, or Jesus Montero.

However, with the Yankees believing Jimenez’s drop in velocity could be a major red flag they insisted on studying his health before getting too deep in talks and the Rockies’ resistance to that basically made the asking price a moot point. And that’s a big part of how the most coveted starting pitcher on the trade market ended up in Cleveland.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.