Ubaldo Jimenez trade rumors are picking up steam in both the national and local media.
Troy Renck and Dave Krieger of the Denver Post have reported that the rumors likely don’t have deep roots and the Rockies are only listening to trade offers because it never hurts to at least pick up the phone.
Krieger reports that the Rockies would require a huge crop of players in a win-win situation to even consider a trade.
The reality is this: If the Rockies somehow shock the baseball world and trade Jimenez, they would be running this franchise into a ditch.
A true ace is an incredible commodity in Major League Baseball and make no mistake, Jimenez is a true ace.
At the beginning of this year, he wasn’t good. It’s as simple as that.
But I think the true Ubaldo is back. Look at his numbers since June 1st:
- Starts: 9
- Record 5-3
- ERA: 2.54
- Innings: 59 2/3 (Just under 7 IP/Start)
- Strikeouts: 54
- Opponent Batting Avg: .241
In those three losses, the Rockies scored a total of five runs.
No, those numbers aren’t exactly blowing anyone away. But the point here is that after Jimenez’s early struggles (and he definitely struggled) he has been very, very good.
He’s been one of the best pitchers in the National League.
The people and fans that are looking for him to repeat the first half of 2010 (15-1, 2.20) are foolish.
That was legendary.
Those words don’t get thrown around very often for a reason.
The Rockies don’t need that Ubaldo Jimenez. That Ubaldo Jimenez is gone. Pitchers like Roy Halladay and CC Sabathia have never been as dominant as that Ubaldo Jimenez.
What the Rockies need is the Ubaldo Jimenez who has electric stuff, a mid-to-high 90s fastball, command of four pitches and a hunger to dominate.
That Ubaldo Jimenez is alive and well.
The best part: Jimenez is a bargain (if not a downright steal) under his current contract, which runs through next season with a team option for 2013 and ’14.
Jimenez is making $2.8 million this year. Last year, when he started the All-Star Game, he made $1.25 million.
Both team options would almost certainly be picked up, meaning Jimenez will likely be a Rockie for the next three seasons before becoming a free agent. This isn’t a Matt Holliday, take the money and run situation.
The Rockies are essentially out of contention this year. Regardless of their status as buyers or sellers as the trade deadline approaches, Jimenez should be completely off-limits.
Jimenez may be the most important player in the entire Rockies’ organization.
If Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd were to trade him, he’d be making a huge mistake, regardless of the players and prospects he would receive.
The good part is a trade is highly unlikely. The bad part is a trade is slightly, somewhat, a-tiny-bit possible.
Jimenez is simply too rare of a player to let pack his bags and continue his career– a most-likely brilliant career– for another team in another city.
Don’t do it, Dan. Don’t even think about it.