Eventually, the Tribe will have a coin-flip decision to make.

While the rest of baseball waits on the “will-he-or-won’t-he” posting saga of Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka, the pitching market has been mostly in a standstill. Now with word that Tanaka may not make it over to the Majors this year, the rumor mill is starting to churn. For the Indians, Ubaldo Jimenez named his price, according to Phil Hoynes.

For a guy who was a total bust for eighty percent of his time with the Indians, they would be taking a major risk and a leap of faith on whether or not Mickey Callaway truly found the magic touch last season, and that Jimenez will be able to maintain everything he seemed to find last summer.

On the other hand, if the Indians can’t re-sign Jimenez, it makes the need to bring back Masterson (in my opinion, probably a surer bet, anyway) much more greater. It then it becomes a question of who the Tribe deems as a better fit long-term because both of them probably aren’t staying.

And because it’s just the way we’re used to, wouldn’t it just be the kicker that the Indians post their bets on Masterson by letting Ubaldo go and Ubaldo turns back into the guy that we thought we were getting for good?

Sorry, it’s just the pessimist in me.

But really, now, $80 million for a guy who was worse than awful for the most part? I know pitching is at a premium, but that’s a ton of money for mediocrity at best. Then again, or old buddy Shin-Soo Choo somehow managed to fandangle $130 million from the Rangers without ever reaching an All-Star Game, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the money continues to be PowerBall-esque insanity.

However it shakes out, the Indians have their starting point for negotiations. Do you want Chris Antonetti’s job right now? I certainly don’t. Merry Christmas to all who are average at best and still get paid far more than what they are likely worth.

 

17 Comments

  • Sean Porter says:

    Let Ubaldo walk, pick up the draft pick when he signs somewhere else, and start the extension talks with Masterson by offering a 5 year/$65 mill contract.

    I’ve said this numerous times, but a GM is going to throw a ton of money at Ubaldo, and that contract will eventually get him fired.

    • Kevin says:

      I agree with all of the above. The real question is what is the limit on the contract you would give Masterson? What about 5 year/$80 million?

  • medfest says:

    I can look for a job as the Prima Ballerina for the Bolshoi Ballet,doesn’t mean I’m going to get it.

    Bourn started out last season looking for a five season 16-18 million dollar a year deal and look what he signed for.

    The draft pick compensation and Ubaldo’s own uneven pitching will contribute to a much smaller payday imho.The only way it will be in Cleveland is if the Tribe can trade Cabrera first and Jimenez agrees to a two year ,20 million dollar total deal.I don’t see that happening.

    There are enough knucklehead GMs out there though so you can never say never.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    With free agent prices soaring for even average players, I am not optimistic that either Jimenez or Masterson will re-up with the Indians. There is no way in hell I would pay Ubaldo $17M per annum for four guaranteed years given his body of work since being acquired. He has three quarters of a good year out of 2 1/2 years in Cleveland. That’s not enough to warrant leaping off a fiscal cliff.

  • Steven W says:

    Best thing for Ubaldo would be is to sign a one year deal with Tribe, pitch lights out and prove some consistency worthy of a high dollar contract. Then hit the road. Anybody pitcher gets a big time deal, it needs to be Masrerson.

  • Sean Porter says:

    While we all would love to have Masterson with the Tribe for the foreseeable future – what is the max contract you would offer him?

    I think its going to be unanimous amongst us here that $17-20 mill a year for four years is laughable for Ubaldo, but I’m interested to see what everyone would be willing to offer Masterson.

    5 years, $75 mill would be my absolute highest offer.

    • medfest says:

      Given Masterson’s own year to year inconsistency and the large platoon splits he generates because of his side arming style,I would back off from anything more than a three year deal in that same salary range.

      That ,of course, will not get him signed.

    • Stephen says:

      Since most teams should (and hopefully will) see him as a (sometimes) very good no. 2, not a no. 1 on a good team, I think the 5 year $65-75 mill. would be a good contract. Then we hope that Salazar turns into a no. 1 and is super cheap for the next 5 years. And maybe if magic is real, Trevor Bauer will turn into a pitcher that can throw strikes.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    All three of those things probably need to happen for the Indians to be serious WS contenders anytime soon.

  • Sam says:

    Chris,

    I enjoyed the article, but did you proofread it before submitting? I counted at least 4 grammatical errors after the first read.

    • Chris Burnham says:

      Not that it matters, but…thanks?

    • D.P. Roberts says:

      I agree, at least in terms of the title (which got me to read the article, so at least it did its job there). Jimenez is looking for $20 million per year, or $80 million over four years – not $20 million over four years, which would be only $5 million per year (and probably what he’s really worth).

  • Gvl Steve says:

    The question is not how much the Indians are willing to pay Masterson, but how much it will cost to keep him and whether they are willing to pay it. Every team would love to extend their players at the team’s preferred price, but it doesn’t work that way when they are approaching free agency and the deep pockets are competing with you for your players. The Indians offered Sabathia $18 million a year when his market was 20+. Result: He’s not an Indian anymore. Some guys will give you a hometown discount and some will not, but the longer into the arbitration process the team waits, the less leverage they have. The time for extending Masterson was two years ago. It’s probably too late now.

  • Kurt says:

    Let him walk…….Let them all walk……

  • Rodney Mac says:

    I’m hoping the Tigers sign him to something outrageous. Didn’t they trade Fister. Could they be interested.

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