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Making the case for (and against) Jimenez

Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez is one of the most popular names mentioned as the trade deadline approaches.  His name has been linked to a number of teams, most notably the Yankees.  Regardless of where you may stand on this potential trade, both sides can be argued…


The case for:

An improving Jimenez is 5-3 with a 2.56 ERA since the end of May.

Ubaldo Jimenez, despite his fall-off from the dominant first half of 2010, is one of the most valuable players to trade for in MLB according to fangraphs.com.  He is owed just $21 million over the next four years if both team options are picked up, a bargain for an average starting pitcher, never mind a potential ace.

The main concern when a National League pitcher transitions to the American League is that his ERA will become inflated with the DH and deeper lineups.  Although a small sample size (19 IP), Jimenez pitched well in Inter-League play this season.  He held batters to a .235 BA and just a .309 SLG.  An uptick in performance since the beginning of June means his stock is rising, and gives teams hope he can regain some of the magic he had in the beginning of 2010.


The case against:

The Rockies are probably out of their division race; they are 6 games below .500 and 10.5 games behind the first-place SF Giants in the NL West.  Even though this means the Rockies would be more willing to deal Jimenez, his contract allows the Rockies to hold-out and bring him back for another year if they do not like the deal on the table… and they are asking for a lot.

It has been speculated that Colorado wants both pitching and hitting help.  Jon Heyman of SI.com reported the Yankees made Ivan Nova (who will be the first pitcher called up if Colon or Garcia continue to struggle), Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances untouchable.  All three of these young pitchers are a reason the Yankees’ farm system has rebounded in recent years.  For a long time the Yankees had no problem trading young talent for older players who were thought could help mid-season.  Cashman has changed that trend however and the Yankees have opted to hold onto young players like Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain, who were all rumored to have been traded in the potential Johan Santana deal a few years ago.

There has been rumor that they are willing to trade Jesus Montero however, who would have been traded to Seattle in the failed Cliff Lee deal a year ago.  The Yankees are probably willing to part with Montero because they have one of the deepest catching systems in Baseball.  Both Gary Sanchez (No. 30) and Austin Romine (No. 98) appear on Baseball America’s 2011 Top 100 Prospect list.


There is the ongoing argument in Baseball that it is safer to trade unproven talent for proven talent, but that does pose the question:  Is Jimenez really proven?


Where do you stand?



Andrew Rotondi

NYYUniverse.com Staff Writer

Follow me on Twitter @Yankees_talk