The Rockies are asking the moon for starter Ubaldo Jimenez, which they have the right to do given his recent success and team-friendly contract. But the Yankees don’t seem interested in unloading their farm system, and neither do the Red Sox and Reds.
Perhaps a different suitor will yield a match.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Indians have joined the hunt for Jimenez and are believed to be “strongly in the mix” to land him.
Cleveland is aiming to make a high-impact deal at this week’s deadline in order to remain afloat in the American League Central. The Tribe even made a hard run at Carlos Beltran before he nixed the trade.
Jimenez, 27, has registered an underwhelming 4.20 ERA and 1.34 WHIP through 122 innings this season, but he was a legitimate ace in 2010 for Colorado and is owed only $4.2 million in 2012. His contract also includes inexpensive options for 2013 ($5.75 million, $1 million buyout) and 2014 ($8 million, $1 million buyout).
First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.
Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.