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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Trade talk: Ubaldo Jimenez

By Richard Durrett

There's been a lot of talk the past few days about the Rockies discussing Ubaldo Jimenez with teams prior to the deadline.

That's intriguing because Jimenez is a top-flight rotation guy who is not a rental. He's 27 years old, has stuff good enough to win 19 games last year and is under team control for two more years at $9.95 million combined. The question is how you define his value. If you consider him a No. 2 guy, that impacts what you're willing to give up.

He's just the type of guy the Rangers would have interest in, but the Rockies are wanting to hit a grand slam here. They would a huge package of prospects and Jason Stark said that includes a pitcher ready to step into the rotation by mid-season 2012. The Rangers have prospects, but do they want to part with Martin Perez or even a Derek Holland (I'm just throwing out names of pitchers that could be ready in that timeframe) and a few others to get Jimenez? Is there another package that might work? Tough to say since other teams are interested and might be willing to pay the price the Rockies set and because bullpen help remains Texas' top priority.

Colorado is in a good spot here. They can sit back, hang a hefty price tag on Jimenez and sell only if they get their price. If they don't, they'll keep him and either entertain offers at a later date or let him remain a top-flight guy in their rotation.

It's tempting to think about Jimenez in that Rangers rotation. It would make it better immediately. But Jimenez is not Cliff Lee. And if that's the type of package the Rockies want, I think the Rangers in a position where they can stick with the rotation they've got now (after all, all five guys have at least eight wins). Don't forget that GM Jon Daniels' job is to balance winning now and keeping a window of winning open for as long as he can. That means knowing when to go "all in" and when not to. Jimenez would be a great addition. But he's not the impact starter Lee was for this team in 2010. Just my opinion.

What would you be willing to give up for Jimenez? Is he worth shipping off Perez and others?