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Cleveland Indians Sunday News and Notes: February 2, 2014

The question on everyone's mind: did Ubaldo Jimenez see his shadow?

Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Indians News

Yes, we've reached the month of February and still talking about the possibility of Ubaldo Jimenez re-signing with the Indians.

Draft pick compensation could cut ties between Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians |

Hoynes talks about the draft pick ramifications (and related draft pool money) of signing Jimenez.

If another team signs Jimenez, the Indians would be compensated with a draft pick between the first and second round. Right now that would probably be somewhere between No.33 and No. 36.

An estimate of last year’s slotting prices for those draft positions was $1.5 million to $1.6 million. So if Jimenez finds the cupboard bare and returns to Cleveland looking for a one- or two-year deal before the start of spring training, the Indians would have to calculate the loss of that draft pick into the salary they offered Jimenez.

Well, it could, but keep in mind that in signing a free agent you just have to make a better offer than the other teams. If the stories are true that Jimenez's asking price has shrunk of late, the Indians may actually be able to afford Jimenez's salary. The Indians would forgo that sandwich pick by re-signing Jimenez, but many other teams in the hunt for Jimenez would forgo their first round pick, which is quite another matter.  The Indians would have an advantage over every other club with the exception of the clubs who are selected in the top 10 picks in the draft, as those picks cannot be lost by signing a free agent.

Just as an exercise, here's the draft picks teams would give up if they signed Jimenez, starting with the highest given up:

  • Milwaukee - 12th
  • San Diego - 13th
  • San Francisco - 14th
  • LA Angels - 15th
  • Arizona - 16th
  • Baltimore - 17th
  • Kansas City - 18th
  • Washington - 19th
  • Cincinnati - 20th
  • Tampa Bay - 21st
  • LA Dodgers - 23rd
  • Detroit - 24th
  • Pittsburgh - 25th
  • Oakland - 26th
  • Atlanta - 27th
  • Boston - 28th
  • St. Louis - 29th
  • Seattle - 30th (assuming someone else signs Kendry Morales)
  • Texas - 31st (assuming someone else signs Nelson Cruz)
  • Cleveland - 32nd (as they would be giving up potential pick by re-signing Jimenez)
  • Colorado - 34th
  • Houston - 35th
  • Miami - 38th
  • Chicago White Sox - 43rd
  • Chicago Cubs - 44th
  • Minnesota - 45th
  • Philadelphia - 47th
  • Toronto - 49th
  • New York Yankees - 56th
  • New York Mets - 85th

So if I had to pick the favorite to sign Ubaldo Jimenez, it would be Toronto. They have two protected first round picks (#9 and #11), they have a need in the rotation, and apparently have the money to spend. The Yankees would be giving up their first selection in the draft (because of their free agent binge this winter) and I don't think the Mets have the financial ability to sign anyone else this winter.

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Draft pick compensation is hurting the non-elite free agents. As we saw last winter, the Indians were able to sign Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher largely because other teams were unwilling to give up first round picks to sign them. Jimenez and Santana, who were good enough to get Qualifying Offers from their old teams but apparently not good enough to have their new teams give up high drafts to sign them, seem to be falling into the same category as Swisher and Bourn.

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