Blog Entry

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Posted on: July 17, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:50 am
Ubaldo Jimenez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It seems Ubaldo Jimenez is this season's hot name that could go nowhere.

Last week it was the Reds who popped up as a possible landing spot for Jimenez, but now it seems more are involved. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports the Rockies have been in contact with the Yankees about Jimenez. Heyman said later on MLB Network that 12 teams have contacted the Rockies about JImenez, adding the Red Sox and Rays as possible bidders. Troy Renck of the Denver Post adds the Tigers, Rangers and Phillies as teams with interest in Jimenez.

It's easy to understand why teams would want Jimenez -- he's one of the top talents in the game, even if he's not putting up the dominant numbers he did a year ago when he was 15-1 with a  2.20 ERA in the first half. This season he's 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA, but most of his struggles have been at Coors Field, where his ERA more than three-and-a-half runs higher than it is on the road -- .5.89 at home and 2.28 on the road. His strikeout rate (8.1 per nine innings) is down slightly (8.7 last season), but so are his walks (3.5 walks per nine innings in 2011 and 3.7 in 2010).

And it's not just Jimenez's presence on the mound that makes him attractive, he's a relative bargain, signed through next season and he makes just $4.2 million in 2012 and has team options for both 2013 ($5.75 million) and 2014 ($8 million), but the 2014 option is voided if he's traded. Evan at $8 million, Jimenez is a bargain -- for comparison, Colorado's Aaron Cook is making $9.25 million this season and enters today's start with an 0-4 record and 5.82 ERA. Another team won't benefit from the 2014 option, but any team trading for him would get Jimenez for the next two seasons for less than $10 million.

As a comparison, perhaps one of the other top names on the trade market is Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who is in the first year of a three-year, $34 million contract.

Jesus MonteroThe Rockies have spent their entire existence searching for an ace pitcher that's not bothered pitching at Coors Field, in Jimenez, they've finally got him. So, why would the Rockies trade him? That's a pretty good question. The short answer is that it doesn't cost anything to listen.

"We would have to be absolutely overwhelmed," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told the Denver Post. "It would have to be a Herschel Walker deal."

In 1989 the Dallas Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings along with four draft picks in return for five players and eight draft picks. The Cowboys turned those draft picks into Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper, Darren Woodson, Dixon Edwards and more draft picks, including the one that led to the first overall pick in 1991 (Russell Maryland). That trade laid the foundation for the Cowboys' three Super Bowl titles in the mid-90s.

In a baseball equivalent, you could call it a Mark Teixeira trade. In baseball, you can't trade draft picks, but prospects are the equivalent of NFL draft picks. In 2007, the Rangers sent Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That's a pretty good haul -- and that's for a player that was scheduled to be a free agent. Jimenez could cost more because of the extra years of team control with a very team-friendly contract.

The market has changed in reaction to that trade, with fewer teams giving up that much for rentals, but Jimenez won't be a rental, so he could command a king's ransom.

What are the Rockies looking for? Mainly they want young pitching talent that can be under team control for a long time, but that's major league ready. They'd also want a top-notch position prospect, as well. The Yankees would likely need to give up catcher Jesus Montero (right) and a top pitching prospect such as Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances in addition to other prospects. Heyman said on MLB Network that the Rockies have asked for not just Montero, Banuelos and Betances, but also Ivan Nova. The Reds could spare first baseman Yonder Alonso, but would have to send some pitching such as Mike Leake and/or Travis Wood to the Rockies in addition to other players.

There have been reports that Jimenez is unhappy with being on the trading block, but he denies that's the case.

"I won't be bothered by trade rumors. I am mentally strong," Jimenez told Renck. "Don't forget that about me."

It would be foolish for someone like O'Dowd not to listen, but in the end, if the Rockies do trade him, it will have to be for a massive collection of talent.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:44 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:38 am
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Since: Aug 13, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

 also would take a pass on Beltran too, he's been too injury plagued, too inconsistent so now after years of spending so much time on the DL he's supposed to be back to superstar form? I don't think so! I'll keep Jacoby Ellsbury thank you!

They would  not be giving up ellsbury for Beltran considering ellsbury is better and cheaper. Ellsbury still has a couple more years of arbitration left anyways. Sox should not and will not trade ellsbury.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:40 pm

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Learn to read - In 2007, the Rangers sent Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta

Yes, learn to read before you try clowning someone.  You see that "Edited on July 20th at 8:50 AM" note at the top?  What do you think the author corrected.  When you see multiple posters calling out an obvious error in the story and an "edited" notation, chances are they were absolutely correct and the guys who showed up several days later to slam them are just talking from the wrong opening.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:05 pm

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Agreed. The Braves' rotation in the late 80s/early 90s has to be one of the most feared rotations. Other than Sabathia, I wouldn't "fear" any other pitcher in that rotation.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:03 pm

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Learn to read - In 2007, the Rangers sent Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: July 20, 2011 9:59 am

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

As a Red Sox fan I have to say "PASS".
I'm not going to gut the Sox minor league system for Jimenez, no way.
Who's to say that last year's performance was the norm rather than an exception, a one great year?
Then again he could just be having a down year, we all remembr the yoyoing Brett Saberhagen would do in even & odd numbered years.
It comes down to value, not just dollars and sense but what you'e giving up in return and what those players could bring to you for years to come.
I am not ready to give the Rockies Josh Reddick, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias and who knows what else the Rockies front office would ask for.
Jimenez hasn't shown that he's worth that kind of deal, that's the kind of deal you do for someone like Albert Pujols who's shown over several years the caliber of player he is and that he's worth giving up all that talent.
I also would take a pass on Beltran too, he's been too injury plagued, too inconsistent so now after years of spending so much time on the DL he's supposed to be back to superstar form? I don't think so! I'll keep Jacoby Ellsbury thank you!
It all hinges on what the Sox want to do longterm, do they want to sign Ellsbury longterm? Do they want to move him, bring Beltran in, let him finish the year and let him walk to let Reddick take over in CF? Seems too risky to me and I certainly wouldn't do it but then again I also wouldn't have given Crawford the mega deal he received.
If the Sox are going to make a move for a starter I would prefer they go and get Doug Fister of the Mariners who's pitched fantastic but has received ZERO run support, he should have 5 more wins on his record right now.
He would come inexpensively - talent wise and salary wise and would anchor the #4 starter spot especially given the run support the Sox could give him.
THAT is the route I would go, add a good starter and go with the guys you have the rest of the season.

Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:42 pm

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

The Rangers sent Teixeira to Texas?  So they traded with themselves? 

Proof.  Read.

It would be nice to see the Red Sox get Jimenez with our starting rotation so banged up.  If we are going to trade Reddick, the time is now.  His stock is pretty high.  I'd personally like to keep Reddick but the powers that be may see a need for pitching and a righty outfielder.  I expect him to be a piece in some kind of deal.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:46 am

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

I meant to say O'dowd and not cashman holding all the cards... sorry, my bad. 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:44 am

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

If the Rockies GM wants a "Herschel Walker" type package, I would have to ask why Brian Cashman would ever agree to a deal that would be comparable to one of the most lopsided trades in the history of sports? Is he serious with this comment? I think the Rockies GM probably needs to go back and work on his public negotiating tactics.

He's exxagerating, no doubt about it.  But that being said don't be shocked if somebody overpays for Jimenez.  The guy is only 27 years old with a ton of talent and a huge upside and locked in at a very modest MLB salary for two more seasons after this one.   And when you consider what he's done away from Coors field the last 2 seasons there might be a few teams praying they get this kid in their rotation.

All that said if I was the Tigers I still wouldn't give up much more then Jacob Turner who currently just might be the best pitching prospect in MLB playing in the minors.  Turner has a Verlander type arm and he hasn't had injury problems at all.  I'd only give up that much because Jimenez is locked in for 2 more years at a more then fair salary and the Tigers would have time to sign him to an extension.  The Tigers aren't the Bosox or Yankees, they can't afford to give up more then that because they aren't guaranteed to land big name free agents whenever they want to compensate for a farm system they would need to rebuild. 

The problem is there will be plenty of teams that think Jimenez is going to take them over the top and big market teams that can afford to drain their minor league talent because they can dive into the free agent market any time they feel like it.   Whether we like it or not Cashman holds all the cards right now.... he either gets the deal he's looking for or he holds onto Jimenez.  If he holds onto him and he finishes this year strong and God forbid next season starts off well and duplicates what he did last season he can wait until next year's trade deadline and get whatever he wants for him with still a year beyond that left on his contract for the team trading for him.

The only way Cashman burns is if Jimenez struggles or does badly over the next year... I highly doubt that's going to happen. 

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