Red Sox, Indians still targeting Ubaldo Jimenez

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According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox are “aggressively pursuing” Ubaldo Jimenez, while others think the Indians are a “big threat” to land the Rockies right-hander.

Heyman says the Reds and Blue Jays also remain interested and that the Yankees are lurking.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark, on the other hand, reports that the Yankees’ interest “seems to be waning” and that they may now be focused more on Hiroki Kuroda.

From the Rockies’ perspective, the Indians might be a more attractive suitor than the Red Sox.  In Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, they have two pitching prospects superior to any that Boston can offer.  Not that they’d necessarily be willing to part with both.  But they can build an offer around one of the two and maybe outfielder Nick Weglarz.  They’d almost certainly have the best shot of landing Jimenez if they were willing to trade one of the two pitchers and either third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall or second baseman Jason Kipnis.

The Red Sox can’t match that top-level talent, not after trading both Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly for Adrian Gonzalez over the winter.  They do have a lot of depth, though, and they could potentially offer the Rockies four or five significant prospects for Jimenez and outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.

An Ubaldo trade looked like a long shot a week ago, and it’s still likely less than 50/50 to get done.  But the way the rumors are heating up suggests that the odds have gotten shorter these last 48 hours.

Mariners to hire Tim Laker as their hitting coach

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Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that the Mariners plan to hire Tim Laker as their new hitting coach. He’ll replace Edgar Martinez, who has moved into a different role with the club.

Laker has spent the past spent the past two years as the Arizona Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach. Before that he was a coach and manager in the minor league systems of the Indians and White Sox. He, of course, also spent 11 seasons in the Majors as a catcher, playing for the Indians, Expos, Devil Rays, Pirates and Orioles.