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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ubaldo Jimenez rumors: starter looking for four-year deal, $17-20M per year


By on 1/01/2014 06:00:00 AM

As 2014 arrives, a lot of free agents have already been taken off the board, but one name still out there is that of Ubaldo Jimenez. The former Cleveland Indians starter has been linked to a number of teams but thus far, nothing has been signed. His salary demands could be one reason why many teams haven't made a move, as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests that Jimenez is looking for between seventeen and twenty million dollars a year on a four year deal.

Hoynes also indicated that Jimenez is not going to get that kind of money in Cleveland, so it's unlikely he'll be back there in 2014. Just a few days ago, our Robert Murray reported that some GMs think the New York Yankees could end up with both Jimenez and Masahiro Tanaka as they attempt to strengthen their rotation, while yesterday SIA's Blaine Blontz wrote about the Toronto Blue Jays' potential interest in the 29-year-old. Hoynes named those two teams in addition to the Arizona Diamondbacks as potential landing spots.

Jimenez made $5.75 million with the Indians in 2013 and declined the $8 million option that was in his contract for 2014. He also subsequently declined the $14.1M qualifying offer the Indians made him, meaning that they will get draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Even though Jimenez is coming off his best season since 2010, striking out a career-best quarter of all batters faced on his way to a 3.30 ERA, it's possible that he'll struggle to find a team likely to meet his demands and it could turn into another Kyle Lohse situation. Last offseason, free agent Lohse was reportedly demanding up to $15 million a year on a three-year deal even towards the end of March, despite the fact that the market did not seem to be that favourable, with draft pick compensation also attached to the former Cardinal. Eventually he signed for the Brewers for three years and $33 million, a sum significantly lower than his initial demands and with the deal done just barely in time to join the team before the season started. 

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