The Tribe made a bold move tonight, bigger than any in recent memory, by trading top pitching prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez. Pitcher Joe Gardner and first baseman Matt McBride were included in the package sent to Colorado, but neither player has anywhere near as high a ceiling as the Indians first round draft picks of the last two seasons. The trade essentially gives the Indians two aces, with Justin Masterson and Jimenez. The best part about the deal is that Ubaldo still has multiple years on his contract and will be under Indians control through 2013.
Over the past three seasons, Jimenez has pitched in at least 30 games each year, with an ERA of under 4.00. Last season was his best year when he went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA and 214 strike outs. This move most likely means that either David Huff or Carlos Carrasco will be removed from the starting rotation. This, combined with other speculative trades, possibly for Ryan Ludwick, could lead to a lot of roster moves within the next couple of days. If the Indians keep making trades like adding Kosuke Fukudome and Ubaldo Jimenez, people will start complaining about the big money Indians not giving everyone else a chance.
This move puts the Indians right back on top as the favorites to win the American League Central.
As I was writing this, the Indians made another move official by trading Orlando Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Thomas Neal. If you haven’t heard of Thomas Neal, don’t worry, you’re not alone. He has been in the Giants minor league system since 2006 and was playing this season at AAA Fresno. Don’t get too attached to him Tribe fans, he might not be around for long. As for Cabrera, good riddance. So much for being a good leader and a presence in the locker room, Orlando was visably angered with the advancement of Cord Phelps and later Jason Kipnis. Rather than being a teacher and helping these rookies reach their potential, he seemed to harbor resentment against them. Every Indians fan knew before the season started that Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis were the infielders of the future and would make their debuts in 2011. This information was available everywhere including from quotes by both Chris Antonetti and Mark Shapiro. Apparently, Orlando was unaware that his position was only temporary.
Goodbye Orlando, and by the way, your range is terrible.