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This Week in Pitching Market Price Drops: Ubaldo Jimenez down to $14M+


Ubaldo Jimenez (30) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This is something that I probably should have included in today’s earlier link dump but I overlooked it at the time. According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, Ubaldo Jimenez‘s agent is telling clubs that he still expects his client to sign a deal for multiple years with an average annual value of at least $14 million.

It was just five days ago that Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer said in his Indians’ mailbag that the last he had heard Ubaldo’s asking price was in the neighbour of $17 million to $20 million. Whether or not that number was ever realistic is unknown but it appears at least publicly that the price for Jimenez has decreased as we proceed further into 2014.

It all sounds like great news for the Blue Jays, who will hopefully see their patience pay off by getting better value out of a free agent acquisition, if that is in fact Alex Anthopoulos’ plan to upgrade his team’s rotation. Rosenthal doesn’t mention how many years qualifies as “multiple” but based on Ubaldo’s age (soon to be 30) accepting a four-year deal would make sense as it would set him up for hopefully one more big payday before he calls it a career.

I’ve been pushing hard for the Blue Jays to acquire Jimenez this off-season mostly because I’m a believer in the FIP-based success he’s shown in the past. His 2012 season was a disaster but in 2011 despite a 4.68 ERA he still put up a 3.3 fWAR, and even if you extrapolate just his numbers from the American League he still likely would have been worth 2.7 FIP-based wins.

At $14 million or even slightly more, the price sounds just about right for Jimenez. Whether or not he’s interested in joining the Blue Jays is unknown, and history suggests the Jays may need to overpay a bit to convince him to come to Canada. But if $56M/4 is the cost for Ubaldo Jimenez it’s my belief that the Blue Jays should pull the trigger and sign the Dominican Republic native before another team steps up.