MLB News: Indians pick up option on Jiménez, decline Hafner and Hernandez

The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has exercised the 2013 club option of right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez. Also today, the Indians declined the 2013 club options for designated hitter Travis Hafner and right-handed pitcher Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona). 

Jimenez, 28, went 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 31 starts for the Indians in 2012 (176.2IP, 190H, 106ER, 95BB, 143SO).  For the season he averaged 7.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched, 16th among American League starting pitchers and tops on the Tribe pitching staff.  He recorded his 12th career double-digit strikeout game on August 9 vs. Boston (10SO) and over a 16 start stretch from June 10-August 31 he fanned 94 batters in 91.1 innings of work (9.3SO/9.0IP). His best month came in June, recording an ERA of 2.78 in 5 starts (32.1IP, 25H, 10ER).

As WFNY’s TD wrote earlier this week, the Indians have invested so much in Jiménez; giving up on him now would not be prudent. “$5.75 million is well worth giving him another shot to turn things around under a new pitching coach, yet to be determined,” penned TD.

Hafner hit .228 (50-219) in 2012 between two stints on the disabled list while Hernandez was limited to 3 August starts (0-3, 7.53ERA) in 2012.  Hafner and Hernandez are both eligible for free agency.

[Related: The Tigers Get Swept, Your Boy Rejoices, And The Tribe Decisions Three Days Away]

  • JeBron_Lames

    All is right with the world. (Or at least “all” it can be)

  • I know Jimenez’s $5.75 isn’t much in the grand scheme of salaries (and that they’ve got reputations on the line with the trade)–but taking that gamble (for a 4th or 5th quality starter) was the same mentality that prevented us from making moves last year (i.e. $5m gamble on Sizemore hamstrung us from getting Josh Willingham). Glad to hear they’ve at least cut their losses with Carmona/Hernandez. I’ve always thought Jimenez is just version 2.0—hope I’m wrong.

  • Steve

    Sizemore did not prevent Willingham. The Indians offered more for 2012 than the $7 million Willingham got. They offered Beltran even more. The problem with Willingham is that they were too skeptical of his future to guarantee that third year.

    And for the longshot that Jimenez is, at least there’s upside there. $6 million isn’t going to get you much of a pitcher.

  • mgbode

    yeah, that is the crux of the issue. hope Ubaldo had a bad year and gets back to his career norms (not 2010) or use that money on a pitcher without his upside.

    i think we chose correctly.

  • Steve

    There’s no benefit in signing a mediocre pitcher. Getting to 80 wins is fairly meaningless. Roll the dice on Jimenez, and maybe you get lucky.

  • No, I know Sizemore didn’t directly prevent Willingham (but you can’t tell me already earmarked salary didn’t factor in). But the bigger point was that his $5m contract was a similar gamble we have here. Differences are that with Sizemore the upside is him being healthy and with Ubaldo the upside is him being consistent. Upside but a lot of risk/little evidence to support making the bet. As we saw with Sizemore, it was money being poured down the drain. Here with Jimenez, I think it’ll be the same (but hope to be wrong). I still maintain that the Indians can’t afford $5-6m gambles of that risk/reward caliber.

  • nj0

    What else is there to risk it on? Was the same thing with Sizemore. What $5M over one year player(s) are you going to bring in here? Of course, the other option is saving that money and rebuilding but I’m sure if Dolan does that then the “THEY ARE CHEAP!” crowd will be out in multitude.

  • Totally agree…would love to see them “save up” for a higher tier player but with the Dolans, we all know that ain’t gonna happen

  • mgbode

    well, with Sizemore, we did it so early that we could have used his $5mil + $3mil to Kotchman for a different player. Yes, you’d get the “Dolan’s cheap” crowd out, but it would have been a wiser decision in that case.

  • Steve

    Your argument has jumped all over the place. And Willingham wasn’t a “higher tier player” when he was on the market. First you want him, now you want to out and out avoid guys like him.

  • Steve

    Who is this other player? They offered the most for Pena. He took less to go back to Tampa. They were willing to spend more at 1B, but the only guy they could get to come cost just $3 million.

  • mgbode

    well, that’s $8mil and they were $7mil short on Josh-W (3rd year).

    they fell just short of Cespedes on their bid (actually the guy I was more crushed about missing – not only at the time, but still – that guy is good)

    agreed that Pena and Beltran were not coming here and were just using us.


    also, maybe we go get Kubel or Ross if we knew for certain we didn’t have Grady in the OF.

  • Steve

    I don’t think they were going to throw another year onto Willingham’s deal. We’ve seen that’s not how they operate. They value a player at a certain cost over a certain timeframe, and stick to that, for better or worse. I would like to see them play it a bit more loose though.

    Absolutely agreed on Cespedes. You needed an OF not just this year, but for a few. He was still young at 26, and you should be focusing on higher risk/reward guys.

    Kubel possibly, but for as little as Ross went, I feel there was no way he was leaving Boston.

  • No my argument hasn’t “jumped all over the place” my friend. 1. My argument is to avoid high reward/super high risk guys like Sizemore and Jimenez. 2. If we have a mid level amount ($4-7million say for argument’s sake), then spend it on a guy like Willingham, a pitcher like Mark Buerhle (random first name that popped into my head). These guys don’t have as high of a reward on paper, but they’re solid bets. Never said Willingham was a high tier player…that was you conflating matters. 3. If there is no solid guy to be had, save the money for a higher tier guy (instead of pissing it away on a gamble). Hope that clears things up for you

  • Steve

    First it was that we were prevented from making other moves – which is still wholly incorrect. Then it was not to take risks, a defendable position that I happen to disagree with. Then it became that we should spend on higher tier players (while ignoring the vast majority of nj0’s post). So yeah, it has jumped around.

    You pretty much just want the Indians to only spend money on players that work out for them. Yeah, me too. Unfortunately we don’t all have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. And, also unfortunately, the low-risk talents (and Willingham was certainly not one of them last year) are pretty popular among the richer franchises.

  • Steve

    20-20 foresight, that is.

  • Look, the points are mutually exclusive on how I think they should spend the money. I tried to lay it out for you 1, 2, 3. If moving on to another aspect of spending during a thread is impermissibly jumping around, then sorry. Didn’t get your rule book on wfny posts. Look, this a friendly type of forum. Feel free to disagree with my opinions whenever, but your persistent criticisms of me borders on being toolish. If that’s your game, might want to find another place that’s more suitable. Like I said, most people on here are pretty cool. Not sure this is right for you

  • Steve

    I’m sorry that you don’t like your points getting challenged. But that’s part of how a discussion works. Your opinions get critiqued. If you don’t want people to actually think about what you write, then I’m not sure this is right for you.

    Despite what you think, its not criticism of you, its a challenge of your position, which for a while was pretty hard to pin down, and to be honest, still isn’t wholly clear. Besides avoiding high risk guys, like I said, you just want the Indians to take guys that end up working out.

  • mgbode

    being a Cuban defector, we may not have trusted that he’s 26

  • I’ve had my points challenged before and don’t mind it, but your level of snark borders on the unfriendly level. Basically, your comments strike me as abrasive beyond critique. That said, I can only dumb down the points so much, but somehow you’re still failing to grasp them. So we’ll leave it at the basic level that you seem to get: The takeaway, yes, I like them taking guys that work out. Best of luck to you.