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Indians make a qualifying offer to Ubaldo Jimenez

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We saw this coming, now it's official.

Otto Greule Jr

The Indians have made an official qualifying offer to starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. The MLB qualifying offer is a one-year deal and is same for all potential free agents in a given offseason. It is based on the top 125 salaries, which means it changes a bit year-to-year. This year the offer stands at $14.1 million.

Jimenez now has five days to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. If he accepts the deal, he's back for 2014. If he declines the deal, he becomes a free agent. If he then signs with another team, the Indians will receive a compensation draft pick, which will fall between the 1st and 2nd rounds of next June's draft.

It is widely assumed that Jimenez will decline the offer, because on the open market he'll be one of the top pitchers available, and likely land a 3 or 4 year deal for $13-15M a year. Jimenez has certainly appreciated the work pitching coach Mickey Callaway has done with him this year, helping Jimenez to rebounds from a dismal 2012 and become one of the best pitchers in baseball during the second half of 2013. I suspect he'd be happy to re-sign with the Tribe if the offers are similar, but I also suspect another team will offer him more than the Indians are willing to pay.