Unlike Hiroki Kuroda (Another starting pitcher that the Red Sox have been rumored to be interested in), Jimenez’s contract could last anywhere from 2012 to 2014. You see, Jimenez has team options for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with one million-dollar buyouts both seasons. His salary for the 2013 season could be increased from $5.75 million-dollars depending on Cy Young results. In 2014, his salary would be eight million-dollars, but unlike the 2013 season, the “Cy Young bonus” could be voided if Jimenez is traded.
It has been reported that there are four main players in the Ubaldo Jimenez sweepstakes. One of those teams, is the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are supposedly the furthest along as they have already talked prospects. The Rockies are reportedly interested in starting pitchers Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, and Travis Wood, all have major league experience. Another player the Reds are looking at is twenty-four year old, Yonder Alonso.
With Joey Votto locked up until 2013, the Reds decided to move Alonso to left-field. When the Reds traded Jonny Gomes to the Nationals the other day, they made it clear, at least to me, that Alonso is untouchable. Mild-infielder Billy Hamilton and catcher Devin Mesoraco are also supposedly untouchable.
According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, Mesoraco is the Reds number one prospect, followed by Alonso and Hamilton. Also, according to Mayo, Mesoraco is the second best catching prospect, Alonso is the third best prospect at first-base, and Hamilton is the second best prospect at second-base. But, with the Reds now 6.5 games behind the Brewers in an already crowed National League Central, this deal might be more focused on the future than the present.
Another team that has interest in Jimenez is the Detroit Tigers. Yet, it doesn’t look like that they are willing to trade starters Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello. The Rockies have inquired about both players. It looks like Detroit is more likely to go after someone like Erik Bedard or Jeremy Guthrie.
The third team looking at Jimenez, is none other than the New York Yankees. The Yankees have the first, fourth, and sixth rated catching prospects in Jesus Montero, Gary Sanchez, and Austin Romine. Therefore, it makes since to trade one of them.
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that the Yankees won’t trade Manny Banuelos (the fourth rated left-handed pitching prospect in MLB according to Mayo), Dellin Betances (the eighth rated right-handed pitching prospect in MLB, also according to Mayo), and rookie Ivan Nova, who was recently sent down to AAA, but had an eight and four record in sixteen games started up in the big leagues. Unless the Yankees part with a pitcher, Jimenez won’t be wearing pinstripes.
The last major player for Ubaldo Jimenez are none other than the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately for Boston, it doesn’t look like Clay Buchholz will be back soon. Yet, Boston is more likely to trade for a rental player, as their first four starting pitchers for next year are set (Beckett, Buchholz, Lackey, and Lester) and Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller, and Tim Wakefield (Unless he retires) will battle for the fifth spot until Dice-K returns. A Major League executive said that the Red Sox are most likely to trade for Kuroda followed by Guthrie and Bedard.
At the end of the day, sports are simple. To win you just have to score more runs than your opponent. Wether you win 100-1, 1-0, or 10-5 a win is a win. Winning by fifty counts as the same amount of wins as winning by one. When you look at the standings, it doesn’t say, On May 10th this team won by 2 runs but walked 10 batters and had fewer hits than their opponent. All it says is that this team has won so many games and lost so many.
Sports may be simple, but winning isn’t. So far this year, the Cincinnati Reds have scored the third most runs per game (4.82) and the most in the National League. Yet, the Reds are just two games above .500, are third in the N.L. Central and have the 13th best record in baseball. The reason for this is that the Reds have a team ERA of 4.13, the fourth worst in the N.L. and the twenty second worst in baseball.
As for their ideal team percentage (ITP, Where a team ranks among MLB team in runs scored per game and ERA) the Reds are a 42%, (3+22)/60=42%. Keep in mind that the lowest, what a team wants to be, a team can be is 3.33% and the highest is 100%. And yes, I made that stat up.
But lets look at a team that is .500, like the Pittsburgh Pirates. For starters, what Clint Hurdle has done is amazing and very noteworthy, but that is a different story. The Pirates (35-35), currently rank 25th in MLB in runs scored per game (3.71) and are 8th in ERA (3.52). (25+8)/60=55%.
One of the more interesting teams this year, are the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have been having to deal with injuries all year long, including the loss of 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey. The Giants who are currently leading the N.L. West by just half a game are scoring just 3.48 runs per game, the second worst behind San Diego in MLB. Yet, they have the fourth lowest ERA (3.28) in MLB. All this means that the Giants have an ITP of 55%. So even though the Giants have four more wins than the Pirates, they have the same ITP.
But, we wouldn’t be done if we didn’t mention the Red Sox. Boston is first in the majors in runs scored per game (5.27), but Boston’s team ERA is 3.97, or 19th in MLB. This is largely due to inconsistent pitching by John Lackey, Bobby Jenks, and lets not forget Dennys Reyes’ three earned runs, two hit batters, and two walks in just 1.2 innings pitching. This all before being designated for assignment on April 8th. Boston has an ITP of 33%.
For more information on ITP look at the following screenshots from Microsoft Excell.