I am back from vacation and want to thank Jason, Robert and Kenny for doing a fantastic job posting daily while I was away.
Well, the current rumor mill is saying that the Cleveland Indians are offering a package of prospects including second baseman Jason Kipnis, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White for Ubaldo Jimenez. Here is a tweet from Troy Renck from the Denver Post:
Troy Renck, Rockies
Rox in serious talks w Indians. Hearing would center around pomeranz Alex white and kipnis
18 minutes ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply
If this offer is real, I think Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has to accept this deal. And fast. Jon Paul Morosi from Fox Sports tweeted that Pomeranz was scratched from his AA start today, so talks appear to be serious.
Update: The Rockies will get Matt McBride instead of Jason Kipnis, according to Renck.
Update #2: Jimenez is not scratched and is warming up in the bullpen for the Rockies. Deal may be on hold, or maybe another team like the Yankees and/or Red Sox are involved.
Update #3: Jimenez was pulled after giving up 4 runs in the first inning. SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Rockies will get a 4th player in the deal. Will have more details when announced.
Update #4: The 4th player in the deal is AA starter Joe Gardner. More on Gardner after the jump.
More on the prospects involved in this deal after the jump:
And a few minutes ago, Jordan Bastian from MLB.com tweeted that Alex White has been scratched from his one inning rehab outing:
Hearing White has also been scratched from his scheduled one-inning rehab appearance.
10 minutes ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply
And now Ubaldo Jimenez has been scratched from his start this evening per Jon Heyman at SI.com:
ubaldo was scratched. looks like a deal. #rockies, #indians
3 minutes ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply
Pomeranz was the Indians first round pick in the 2010 draft, 5th overall. This season, at High A and AA, he is 3-3 in 18 starts, with a 1.98 ERA, 1.143 WHIP and 112-38 K/BB rate in 91 innings pitched. Pomeranz was ranked at the 35th best prospect in baseball at midseason by ESPN's Keith Law:
Drew Pomeranz RHP 6-5, 231
Analysis: Looks like his delivery is a little cleaner than it was when Cleveland drafted him, although he's still going to have to work to repeat it enough to have average fastball command. His three-pitch mix makes him death to lefties and solid against righties as well. Preseason Ranking: 60
White was the Indians first round pick in the 2009 draft, 15th overall. This season he is 1-0 in 3 major league starts, with a 3.60 ERA, 1.533 WHIP and a 13-9 K/BB rate in 15 innings pitched. In 4 starts at AAA Columbus, he was 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA, 1.014 WHIP and a 28-5 K/BB rate. In 25 starts in 2010, across High A and AA, he was 10-10 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.122 WHIP and a 117-46 K/BB rate in 150 innings pitched. He is currently on a rehab assignment and on the DL with a strained ligament in his right middle finger.
Matt McBride is a 26 year old AAA first baseman/outfielder/catcher who is hitting .156-.191-.267 with a HR, 3 RBIs in 45 at bats. In AA this season, he hit .297-.359-.535 with 14 HRs and 53 RBIs in 310 at bats. I am not sure how much fantasy value he has, but it probably is not much.
With that said, Pomeranz is the main guy in this deal and White has some potential, but I have to say I like this deal more for the Indians than the Rockies. If Kipnis was involved in the deal, then the Rockies would have made out great in this deal. Without Kipnis, not so much.
The Rockies ended up getting a 4th player in the deal, after allowing Jimenez to start the game. It may have been a negotiating ploy, and if it was, it worked. The 4th player in the deal is AA pitching prospect Joe Gardner who was the Indians 3rd round pick in the 2009 draft. In 19 AA starts this season, he is 7-8 with a 4.99 ERA a 1.592 WHIP and a 60-47 K/BB rate. He was ranked as the Indians 9th best prospect by Baseball America in the pre-season, and here is what they had to say in their Top 10 prospects report:
Scouting Report: Though he's not quite as tall, Gardner draws some comparisons to Justin Masterson, Cleveland's No. 2 starter. Though he can dominate a lineup with his fastball, Gardner needs to improve his secondary pitches. His low arm slot makes it tough to maintain a consistent slider, which is average at its best. He needs a better changeup to combat lefthanders.
The Future: Gardner has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter if he can develop a reliable slider and changeup. If not, his ability to get groundout would have value out of the bullpen. He should open 2011 in Double-A.