Well, first off, what a great game tonight. Man, we needed a win, especially after last night’s ugly fiasco. I admit that I was ready for Hafner to crank one out of the park when he came up. The likelihood of his getting on base seems to increase with the number of buttons he has unbuttoned on his jersey. In his last at-bat, he had so many buttons undone it was like Russell Brand was at bat. But tonight was Matt LaPorta’s night to be the bottom of the 9th, two-out hero, giving the Indians a 5-2 win. And the Tigers lost to the Angels, 5-1,  And White Sox lost to the Red Sox, 10-2, so the night gets better and better. We’re now only 1.5 games out of first, while Chicago is 3 games out.

The win is good news, the Indians trading for Ubaldo Jimenez is big news (okay, huge news). During the game tonight, the Indians reportedly agreed to a deal with the Colorado Rockies to bring the right-handed Jimenez (6-9, 4.20) to Cleveland in exchange for pitching prospects Alex White and Joe Gardner and first baseman-outfield Matt McBride. Pitcher Drew Pomeranz is also part of the deal, but he can’t be traded until August 15 (a year after signing his first professional contract).

Although he isn’t having the Cy Young-consideration, start-the-All-Star-Game season he did last year, when he went 19-8 with a 2.80 ERA, Jimenez is a fantastic pitcher. And at 27 years old, he’s just entering his prime. He’s also affordable–$2.8 million this year and $4.2 million in 2012. I know the Indians don’t have deep enough pockets to sign a guy like him in free agency, so in many ways the deal makes sense. I do have to say though that I’m very sorry to see Alex White and Drew Pomeranz go.

I was at White’s major league debut this season and was impressed by what I saw. I remember standing by the Indians bullpen before the game, watching White warm up. He looked confident and relaxed. I liked his motion and  his presence. And ultimately he looked pretty good on the mound too, winning his first game. As for Pomeranz, the Indians scouted that kid so thoroughly that I’m kind of surprised they’d give him up. These guys were supposed to be the face of the Indians starting rotation in a few years. The Rockies signed Jimenez as an amateur free agent in 2001, when he was only 17. I know that the Rockies fans are going to miss Jimenez.  They expected him to be the face of the Rockies’ starting rotation for a while longer. But they need prospects. We need another ace.

So welcome to the Tribe, Ubaldo. We don’t have mountains but we do have a lake and beaches. You won’t have to bat and you won’t have to wear purple. You’ll still have snow in the winter. Um, I think that’s it. Hope we can give you some run support.


  • Drew says:

    O Cab is gone too.

  • WDbeej says:

    ESPN keeps saying the Indians got an ACE from the Rockies. IMHO, 6-9 and a 4.46 era does not make an ACE. Even in the rare air of Colorado, these are not good stats.

    We’ll see if this is good for the Tribe, I sure hope so.

  • TJ says:

    Maybe we Tribe fans are conditioned to always “think tomorrow” (especially around trade deadlines), but I think too many “tomorrows” were given up for You-Bald-Dough. I thought the future was quite bright for White and we all read about the great potential of Pomeranz, plus two other fine prospects, so now the question is which Jimenez will pitch for the Lords of the Lake, the 2010 version or this year’s average chucker. Fans should be happy that neither Kipnis or Chisenhall were added to the trade as rumored. Jimenez should get a nice AL intro next week in Boston.

  • MikeJake says:

    A proven rotation guy in the hand is worth more than two potential rotation guys in the bush.

    Hitting prospects are one thing, but with pitchers you never know. They’re a sure thing one day, a middle reliever or Tommy John candidate the next.

  • Susan Petrone says:

    @Drew: Saw the O-Cab trade just as I was about to go to sleep. I confess I was too tired to write anything. I don’t know anything about Thomas Neal except what I can see on Baseball Reference and Twitter. The fact that the Giants fans were up in arms makes me think he was their equivalent of Pomeranz or White as a prospect.

    @WD, TJ, and MikeJake: I hope Jimenez is just having a bad season. I don’t think he’s a Fausto Carmona, about whom I’m starting to think his one great season was the aberration. My bigger worry is that Ubaldo’s been with the same franchise since he signed as a teenager, He’s settled in Colorado and hasn’t been uprooted by a trade before, Plus he’s switching leagues–lots of culture shock from all sides. Here’s hoping he learns the AL hitters quickly (just as I hope Fukudome learns the AL pitchers quickly. I give him credit for getting the RBI job done last night).

  • Joe Diestel says:

    The deals of last night are proof to the younger Indians that the front office is serious about supporting the team. We cannot (or should I say, should not) expect miracles from Ubaldo.
    If he provodes us with a solid starter who can consistently give us 6 or 7 innings and keep us in the game, that’ll be enough. With the way our bullpen has been pitching seven solid innings will
    result in wins.

    The decision to trade Orlando was one that could work out positively for him; he’s going to the current World’s champs who are also quite serious about winning. On the other hand the young guys, Chisenhall and Kipnis, can now realize that this is their time to grow. Let’s not forget that Orlando was a force on the field and off; his contributions to this year’s Indians were great and
    I, for one, wish him the best.

  • John Z says:

    First of all, I want to rant about the people who rant about the Indians never doing anything big with their roster. Stop your whining, people. This is big.

    From my perspective, the front office is always in a damned-if-you do, damned-if-you-don’t position with regard to the Tribe’s fan base. This trade is a win-now, win-next year and/or 2013 kind of move whereas keeping White and Pomeranz would be a hope they grow up fast and win in 2013, 2014, etc. kind of move. Jimenez’ contract is very club friendly for this year, 2012 and even 2013 if he remains healthy. Since “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect” (I believe BP trademarked this mantra many years ago), going with a major league track record over the hopes that Pomeranz and White are the real deals is rational.

    However, my concern is that Jimenez is another Fausto Carmona — awesome, nasty, filthy stuff but no consistency in translating it into dominance. (They even both have club-friendly contracts). Or is he Wayne Garland with one outstanding season and mediocrity (and injury) after coming to Cleveland. (upon a little more research, I think Ubaldo has been able to maintain a high SO/BB ratio for several years and a decent WHIP for more than 2 years, which is a better track record than Garland).

    So upside is a rotation of Jimenez, Masterson, Tomlin, take two of the following (Carrasco, Carmona, Huff, McAllister, Gomez) while hanging on (so far) to young bullpen guys like Hagadone Judy, and Chen Lee. The downside is that we gave away 2 of a future 5-man rotation for someone who is inconsistent and maddening.

    I definitely did not like the deal on first blush, but the more I thought about it rationally, the more I liked it under certain parameters (win now/win soon, bird in the hand is worth two in the bush leagues, etc.) . I guess we just have to see how it turns out, but if the fan base whines about this for any reason other than they have a fondness for seeing your own draft picks blossom, then the fan base is not being realistic.

    We also still need to score more and maybe we’ll strike gold with Thomas Neal, though at 23, it’s a little to ask of him this season.

  • Mark says:

    Am I the only one who thought we needed a professional right-handed hitter more than starting pitching? I would rather have given up our young talent for a player who can help us every day than someone who comes out every 5th day. I thought our pitching was decent but our offensive production is anemic. By the way, what has happened to Hafner’s hitting? He should be very well rested considering he did not play during the National League parks road trip, was off for the all-star break and the Tribe has had two other off days since the break. He is quite expensive for such a specialist role. O-Cab even pinch ran for him twice recently.

    By the way, this blog is getting scary when one of my KSU Math professors who participated in my Orals exam for my Masters degree posts something here.

  • Quitwhining says:

    90% of Indians “fans” are proving their brilliance on this trade. They don’t go to the games unless the Tribe is close to winning the division, and even then don’t care when football season starts. They have limited if any knowledge of baseball (proven by their posts), yet are always whining whether Indians make moves or not.
    As an ACTUAL Indians fans, the 90% fool factor “fans” can shut up already! Be thankful we are buyers rather than sellers for once! White and Pomeranz haven’t proven ANYTHING yet! Jimenez has been nagged by injuries this year, and also pitching in hitter’s park! We have one of the BEST pitchers in MLB now! Do the 90% of you that know nothing, but pipe in about hating this trade, think Pence or Beltran was a better move? HAHAHA! Pence is an AVERAGE MLB player. Stats prove it. Beltran is 34 and an injury magnet anymore. If the ones posting venom over this trade were the GM of the team, we would lose 100+ games a year while simultaneously going after average or washed up, has-been players.
    Do everyone a favor, quit posting your “thoughts”, go see your shrink, and take your medication. Sit back and watch. Jimenez is a rare talent, one that you don’t deserve. By the time his contract is up, you will be crying when he leaves

  • Nick Tozzi says:

    Well said, MikeJake. Also, I like Susan’s response regarding Ubaldo being with the same franchise since he was a teenager. I’m very excited about this deal and I’m hopeful that Jimenez can settle in here mentally, not just physically. Let’s just skip trying to explain the “Free Stamp” to this kid.


  • SeattleStu says:

    meanwhile back at planet reality, the tribe lineup is again struggling against the 24th coming of CyYoung for this lineup – Danny Duffy….certainly you’re familiar with Danny….he of the near 5 ERA and 2 career wins….WTF is going on with our bats?…jiminez, white, pomeranz, etc wont do anything to help this AAA-lineup….the only thing that will do that is time….which makes trading prospects for an “ace” (please) like jiminez all the more curious.

  • SeattleStu says:

    continued excellence with men on base….anyone have the stats on jiminez with RISP? …..can it possibly be worse than what we have now?

  • TomW says:

    I am also looking on the bright side of this trade. It’s August, we’re about 2 games out and buying at the trade deadline. Not our normal year. We are not running away with it, but still keeping it interesting. Good luck to our newbies. Go Tribe!

  • Rockies says:

    I am a Rockies fan. Ubaldo is an ace, no matter what his stats are. He starte 19-1 last year and people say he is in “decline” Really? Well how many pitchers ever sniff a 19-1 stretch. Dan O’Dowd is betting his job on this. But look at Ubaldo’s stats since June 1, back to normal. He has the potential to throw a no hitter and win every night. He is a top 10/15 pitcher in MLB, which automatically makes him an ace. He is heads above any of the current Indians starter, that isn’t being disrespectful just honest. Cleveland is lucky to have him, White and Pomeranz project to be 2/3 starter at best….no Ubaldo. Cleveland won this trade, still won’t take the Indians to the playoffs. Overrated cupcake schedule at the beginning covered up how good this team really is. Again, not personal but Ubaldo will get +1/+2 wins the rest of the year, but not enough to propell the Indians to the playoffs.

    I wish Ubaldo good luck in Cleveland, O’Down might have just put the nail in his coffin with Rox fans, as he is pretty much viewed as an idiot with management anyway. GL to Cleveland, Ubaldo. Remember “prospects” are just that, and a 27 year old in his prime, great professional in the clubhouse don’t grow on trees. Pomeranz was good in SEC, White in the ACC neither of which translate to success at the MLB level. At least Cleveland is trying to improve their team, good for you fans in Cleveland. Wish you the best and cheer Ubaldo as fan support goes along way with his performance.