Ubaldo Jimenez, loser of his last six decisions and 17 games overall, won’t pitch again this season because of a sprained ankle.
Jimenez finishes up 9-17 with a 5.55 ERA and a 143/95 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He’s 13-21 with a 5.43 ERA in 242 innings since the Indians traded arguably their two top pitching prospects — Drew Pomeranz and Alex White — to the Rockies for him in mid-2011.
The Indians will have to decide this winter whether to exercise Jimenez’s $5.75 million option for 2013, to decline it and go through the arbitration process or to non-tender him. Since the option comes with a $1 million buyout, picking it up probably makes the most sense. It’s doubtful he’d come any cheaper than $4.75 million through arbitration, and even though he’s been a huge disappointment, it’d be worth it to give him one more year and see what happens. It’s not as though the Indians have a ton of young pitching busting down the door.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.