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MLB News: Indians extend qualifying offer to Ubaldo Jimenez

The Indians announced this afternoon that they have extended a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to right-handed starter Ubaldo Jimenez. The team had until 5 p.m. today to make their decision.

Notably, Cleveland did not extend a qualifying offer to lefty Scott Kazmir. He also was eligible to receive such an offer. He now will be a free agent, able to sign with any MLB team with no risk of draft compensation.

In the event that Jimenez signs with another squad, the Indians will receive an additional early draft pick for next June. Cleveland already received an extra draft pick from the competitive balance draft lottery.

It’s unsurprising that the soon-to-be 30-year-old Jimenez received the offer. He had a huge bounceback season, finishing 11-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts. Fans were mixed when it came down to Kazmir, two days older, who was 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts after missing over two full seasons.

Jimenez has until 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, to decide whether he’ll accept the offer.

[Related: The Scott Kazmir decision looms large for Indians]

  • mgbode

    Ubaldo’s agent: So, you can have this bag of $14mil or you can have this bag of $56mil over 4 years all guaranteed (and at $14mil/year). Oh, and don’t feel bad about our old/team and coaches because they get a draft pick compensation.

  • nj0

    That’s about what I think he’ll be making, but I’ve read a wide range of opinions about what he’ll get. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus about his actual value. Which, of course, makes complete sense considering how bi-polar his performance has been during his entire tenure in the majors.

    Still, I can’t see why he wouldn’t refuse the qualifying offer. I don’t think the iron is going to get any hotter for him by pitching another year here.

  • Harv 21

    right, which is why I didn’t get the angst that maybe if the tribe qualified him they could be stuck with him at $14m. Ubaldo is at a prime starter age and if he doesn’t take the very biggest pile of gold it won’t look that different from the biggest.

  • nj0

    Glad they didn’t give one to Kazmir.

  • TSR3000

    I am not convinced Ubaldo won’t turn back into the guy we all hated a year ago. I really won’t be that sad to see him go.

  • nj0

    The qualifying offer system is pretty ridiculous. I’m amazed that players actually agreed to it. It really doesn’t help competitive balance. All it does is hurt the value of guys hitting free agency.

  • mgbode

    do you think the Indians get Swisher and Bourn last offseason w/o it in place? it really only helps the bottom10 teams (since they are giving up a much lesser draft pick).

  • mgbode

    I wonder what the price is going to end up being on Josh Johnson. Would like to put him through the magic of Mickey Callaway’s pitching school and see what happens.

  • nj0

    And the Yankees got a sandwich pick for losing Swisher. They’ll likely have three guys getting QOs this year too. So that means either three picks or three guys signing club friendly contracts with them because of the threat of diminished market value thanks to only having ten clubs or so in on the bidding. The Red Sox will have three guys getting QOs too. So ctrl+c, ctrl+v that complaint with them as well.

    Yes, it helped us get Swisher and Bourn, but the system also helps the big boys too.

  • mgbode

    yes, it certainly does help them as well.

  • nj0

    Better teams with higher payrolls are more likely to have good players which means they’re the ones who will most likely benefit from departing talent.

  • nj0

    I was thinking about him too. Guess it all depends on the state of his shoulder. I think that’s what was wrong with him. Those tend to be tough to come back from.

  • mgbode

    that wasn’t this past season (at least directly). he had a triceps strain that led to forearm tightness that ended up being an elbow issue (bone spurs removed last month). now, all of that could have been caused by his past shoulder issues.

  • mgbode

    yes, but those veteran players were completely off the market for lower budget teams in the past and they now at least have a chance at signing them. and, as we saw, if you sign one, then the price of signing another that year goes down. i’m actually still disappointed we didn’t use our window-signing-year to go and just sign Kyle Lohse as well.

    yes, the teams signing guys (and not worrying about the QO) are more likely to have more of these guys hit the market. also, teams like St.L and Tampa with good pipeline talent are more likely to acquire more of that talent.

    what I like about it:

    (1) If you draft well, then you can keep your young players longer. If they do leave, then you at least get a sandwich pick out of the deal.

    (2) If you do have to trade young talent due to price, the pricetag just went up a little because of (1).

    (3) Mid-to-low budget teams get a chance at the mid-tier FAs more than they would have in the past. And, once they sign one guy, the price of them going multi-players deep drops.

    what I don’t like about it:

    (1) Really seems strange that it’s the same no matter the age or skill level of the player. Why are there not categories like in the past? A 1st round, 2nd round, 3rd round tender offer based on stats/skill (like before with CAT-A, CAT-B players). Right now, higher budget teams can QO more players w/o worrying if they accept or not and cash in on the draft picks easier.

    (2) Arbitration-ending guys vs. FA Contract-ending guys. Really seems like there should be a difference in these type of contract deal endings as well.

  • nj0

    It just seems to me that the main purpose of it was to punish mid-level free agents.

    So yes, it does some good things though they are rather inconsistent. What I dislike the most is that it is a few simple tweaks away from actually doing what it’s suppose to do (maybe by not allowing a team spending $X million over the league average payroll to get those sandwich picks).

  • nj0

    As to your points:
    1.) But if big payroll teams draft well, they get this same advantage. And since they’re getting MORE picks thanks to QO/sandwich picks, it helps them out more than small market teams (again, assuming they draft well).
    2.) If the past year is an indicator, the increase in price is making it harder to trade mid-level FA talent.

    Guess my general gripe is that it’s a fancy stopgap that doesn’t deal with the overall, uncorrectable issue: huge income disparity. The fact remains that any advantage a small market team finds, big market teams find too. Just would have liked some rules with some real teeth.

    It also always bugs me when the league does its best to minimize the money a player can make.

  • nj0

    Ugh. That’s even worse imo. More injuries caused by an original injury. Big, big red flag. As always, it’s a question of what kind of contract it would be.

  • mgbode

    they are legitimate gripes. as noted, I also think there are tweaks they need to make in it (and I like your suggestion that luxury tax participants cannot get the sandwich round pick).

  • mgbode

    it could all be mechanical overcompensation though. we have had good success this past year at re-working pitcher mechanics (Kazmir, Ubaldo, even Masterson) and I am hoping that we can leverage it to get a guy like Josh on a cheapish 1 year deal (him thinking he can parlay it into a big 2015 payday).

  • nj0

    idk… just seems like that sort of thing tends to spiral out of control… injuries caused by changed mechanics made to compensate for a previous injury which causes more changes for the new which results in another injury which means more changes etc etc etc….

  • mgbode

    Kazmir sure can tell that story. And, while I agree, we hit on gold once, so I’m willing to dig again (not for a long commitment or a ton of money, though it’d be more than Kazmir was).

  • Steve

    As was the case in the most recently negotiated NBA CBA. The league thinks competitive balance/helping smaller markets is fine, as long as it comes in the process of clawing money back from the owners to the players. Taking money out of the player’s hands is the primary concern for the owners.

  • Steve

    *clawing money back to the owners from the players, that is.

  • nj0

    Yep.

  • Steve

    And both leagues are going to continue to tell everyone that CBA negotiations are about “competitive balance” because everyone eats it up. It’s pretty amazing how good the billionaires are at getting the common man to get angry at millionaires for being super rich.

  • steve-o

    This just means neither pitcher will be back. We only offered Ubaldo for the draft pick. If wanted to keep Kazmir our best bet would have been to offer him and hope no one else signed him to a multi-year deal.

  • @TheDeePagel

    Or just focus the magic on Bauer and get him ready to roll….our future success depends greatly on his development.