Well the Indians are certainly going after it in the American League Central Division.
The same day that Detroit helped their rotation by picking up Doug Fister, the Indians upped the ante as it appears they will be trading for Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies. In picking up Jimenez, Cleveland receives a 27-year old 6'4" right-hander with a 56-45 career record with a 3.62 ERA. His FIP is just a bit better at 3.57. Any pitcher with those numbers in Colorado is a solid addition. The deal is being finalized per Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Many may think Jimenez has regressed after last season's stellar 19-8 season when he finished with a 2.88 ERA, but his strikeout rate and walk rate are still very near what they were during 2010. Opponents are just hitting better against him, this season a .247 clip where last year batters only averaged .207 against Jimenez.
Veolocity has been a concern in 2011, as his fastball has dropped from 96.1 mph last season to just 93.4 mph this year, while his slider is down three mph, curveball two mph, and changeup one mph.
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs wrote a piece earlier in the month discussing the challenges Jimenez has faced this season, but doesn't seem to be concerned about any regression or inconsistency.
In return Cleveland has to give up a lot. While it will make the major league club better right now, it's concerning looking at the amount of talent the Indians will be sending to Colorado.
Cleveland will be sending Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride in the trade.
Pomeranz was the first round selection of the Indians last season (5th overall) out of Ole Miss. A big 6'5" 230 lbs lefty, Pomeranz was ranked the 61st best prospect in baseball coming into the season by Baseball America. He was ranked the fourth best prospect in the Cleveland system. Recently promoted to Class AA Akron, Pomeranz is 3-3 this season with a sparkling 1.98 ERA. His WHIP was 1.14. In 91 innings with the organization he struck out 112 batters while walking 38.
White, a right-handed pitcher, was the second ranked prospect in the system and 47th overall in baseball before the year began. A 22-year old who played for North Carolina, White was the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 draft. After posting a 1-0 record with a 1.90 ERA in four starts at AAA this season he moved up the big league team where he is also 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts.
Gardner, 23, is yet another pitcher and was ranked the ninth best prospect in Cleveland's organization. The 6'4" right-handed pitcher is 20-14 with a 3.63 ERA since being chosen in the third round of the 2009 draft. At AA Akron this season Gardner was 7-8 with a 4.99 ERA in addition to rather high 1.59 WHIP in 97.1 innings.
McBride, 26, was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. He's an outfielder that was currently playing in AAA. For his career he is a .282/.345/.467 hitter. Last season he batted .279 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI. 2009 was his best minor league season thus far when he hit .287 with 18 home runs and 99 RBI. McBride is a marginal prospect, not ranking in the Indians top 10 but could benefit from moving onto a new ball club.
So to cap the trade again, Cleveland is sending three pitchers and an outfielder to Colorado for Jimenez. The three pitching prospects were ranked second, fourth, and ninth among Cleveland prospects per Baseball America.
Pomeranz can't officially be named in the trade until after August 15th, because any player taken in the 2010 draft must wait until one calender year after signing before being moved.
Though the trade is still likely to go through, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has tweeted the deal is not yet official (which we knew), as he says the lackluster start by Jimenez this evening has the two teams still talking.
Continue to stay tuned.
It now appears the start tonight must have really put a dent into the situation as Goldstein says the two teams will continue to talk and nothing will be finalized this evening.
A few conflicting reports as now ESPN is reporting the deal as being done. Interesting indeed.