At the 2011 trade deadline when Ubaldo Jimenez got traded to the Cleveland Indians, while being rumored to land on the New York Yankees during that season, I thought he’d never come to the Bronx. WELL…I GUESS THERE’S A CHANCE NOW, ASSHOLE! — Jimenez told me.
Jimenez becomes a major possibility, if, the Yankees fail to land Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. And even if they still land Tanaka, Jimenez could still end up in pinstripes.
Jimenez is due. He’s due for a 2010-ish season, in 2014. I truly believe that. His stats improved in 2013 and his ERA has gotten a lot lower since he fell off from 2010. Also, he ended the last ten games of the 2013 season very strong, with a 5-3 record, 84 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA.
The one thing you’ll be promised about Jimenez, is his strikeouts. He averages 180 strikeouts per season. Those are a lot of outs. If he can manage to get contact outs from five to six batters and get nine to ten strikeouts from the others, he can win 15 games easily; especially with the Yankees and their offensive power.
More that I think about, Jimenez is gonna have to be signed, even if Yankees sign Tanaka. Because we don’t know what Tanaka is and the Yanks can’t rely on a 39-year old Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched a ton of innings in 2013. Jimenez is a veteran, young, solid pitcher whose pitched over 180-inning each season. And Jimenez has a chance to be really good, again — ‘good’ as in could potentially be a no.2 starter for this rotation.
How Much Will Jimenez Cost?: I would say in the range of $50 million for three years. I’d add incentives to his contract, as well. Yankees are gonna go over the luxury tax threshold if they sign Tanaka, so…why not for after Jimenez.
If the Yankees sign Tanaka and Jimenez, hoping that C.C Sabathia is back to being his dominant self and Kuroda can be…well, simply Kuroda, the Yankees will have a tough rotation for any opposing to hit against. Forgetting to mention if Michael Pineda comes back healthy.
If the Yankees don’t sign Tanaka, Jimenez will be a Yankee.