Editor’s note: As promised, we will have plenty to talk about today regarding all things Ubaldo. Consider this piece the first of a two-part series discussing the pros and cons of the deal. Kirk, as you may have seen on Twitter, will be taking the cons. Enjoy.
With Saturday night’s deal for Ubaldo Jimenez, Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti has hitched his job security to the former Colorado starter. Come October 2013, if the Indians have not gone deep into the playoffs with Ubaldo Jimenez leading the charge as an ace, Chris Antonetti stands a good chance of being out of a job. Sure, that’s a long way away, and maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but if Drew Pomeranz and Alex White become top of the rotation options for the Rockies and Ubaldo battles the drop in velocity on his fastball and pitches inconsistently, it could go down as the trade that unnecessarily shrunk the Indians’ window of opportunity.
I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m against this trade for many reasons. It’s primarily about who we gave up, not what we got in return. I truly believe Drew Pomeranz is going to be a left-handed ace for years to come, the type of guy the Indians will regret not holding onto. With Alex White, I can at least understand dealing him while his stock is high and before his finger injury becomes more of an issue. White will not be an ace in my estimation, and if things don’t work out, he may indeed have to move to the bullpen. White was expendable, permissable to be packaged with other positions of depth within the Tribe farm system. Pomeranz was not; left-handed power-throwing ace-potential pitchers do not grow on trees. You don’t acquire them via trade, you don’t sign them as free agents – not in our small market, anyway. You draft them, you develop them, and you hold onto them for as long as you can.