Ubaldo to Cleveland?
What a night it must be in Colorado right now. Just prior to the game it was reported the Indians and Rockies had reached a deal that would send right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland for a package of prospects.
That created a circus-like atmosphere at the ballpark. Jimenez went out to the bullpen to get ready for his start and eventually did take the mound at the start of the game. As he threw, there already was action in the bullpen just in case the higher-ups called down to field level to say the trade was official and Jimenez would have to be pulled.
For now, it looks like the deal isn’t quite official yet but if the reports are accurate that could change any minute. Toronto had been rumoured to be interested in the right-hander — and it’s very likely Alex Anthopoulos made at least a couple of calls to monitor the situation — but it’s unclear just how serious the talks got. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for the organization especially considering Jimenez has lost three MPH off his fastball this year for reasons that aren’t quite known.
All is quiet on the Blue Jays’ front right now but that too could change in a moment’s notice. The main trading chips at this point would appear to be Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Edwin Encarnacion. Francisco and Rauch are Type-B free agents that could net a Draft pick at the end of the year so there’s no certainty they will be on their way out of town.
Encarnacion would have been virtually impossible to deal approximately a month ago but he has been on a well-documented hot streak and if there’s a team out there looking for an extra right-handed bat, that can also play the corner infield positions, something might get done. I wouldn’t necessarily bet on it but there is still plenty of time between now and Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Trading Encarnacion would clear up a bit of a logjam for the Blue Jays. Brett Lawrie is nearing a Major League return which will push Jose Bautista back into right field. That leaves Eric Thames out in the cold for a starting job but if Encarnacion gets moved Thames would slide nicely into the DH spot.