There’s been surprisingly few teams linked to Ubaldo Jimenez and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did some digging to figure out why.
He turned down a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer and any team signing him would be giving up a draft pick to do so. According to Hoynes the Indians “have remained in contact” with Jimenez, but “they could merely be playing a waiting game should Jimenez still be unsigned come spring training.”
It’s possible that Jimenez has been talking to a bunch of teams and the details simply haven’t leaked to reporters yet, but Hoynes believes most teams have been slow to start negotiating seriously with the 29-year-old right-hander because they’re focused on other rotation options first. We’ll see what happens once a few more dominoes fall, because Jimenez is certainly one of the best, highest-upside free agents available.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.