The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Jimenez Deal

So the Indians went out and took a gamble.  Wow.  Seriously, who saw that coming?  The Fukudome deal is a non issue.  The Cubs are just trying to get rid of anyone old and with a big salary, and they sure can’t get anyone to take Soriano and his $18 mill a year.  Anyone out there want Carlos Zambrano?  Ted Lilly?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  Fukudome seems like a bargain in comparison.  He is the very definition of a banjo hitting outfielder though.  He will probably hit singles to the tune of about a .265 average, but that’s better than what they have now.  Keep in mind that he came to Cleveland after hitting 13 RBIs all year while playing consistently in right field for the Cubs.  This is not a misprint.  13 RBIs.  We are not looking at a guy that will put the team on his shoulders.   He will make a hit once in awhile and catch balls hit his way, so what the hell.  They gave up literally nothing for him.

The Jimenez deal is the monster.  This is the first time I can remember where the Dolan owned Indians went for a guy that has actually been a success at the major league level.  If Jimenez is healthy, it’s a great deal.  Every scout you see quoted says things like “He’s a monster!  He cannot be stopped!” or “He’s like Sandy Koufax with an accent!”.  His contract is very mid-market friendly.  Heck, he was 15-1 with an ERA under two at the All Star Break last year.  So the question I have is, why in the world did Colorado trade him?

Pitching like that is so rare, there must be something wrong.  It’s not like the Rockies are so stacked with top caliber starters they said, “You know what?  Let’s get some of these guys out of here.  Jimenez?  What’s he done for us lately?  We don’t need him eating up starts we could be giving to Juan Nicasio!”.  Maybe they are gun shy after those big deals they gave to Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle didn’t work out a decade ago, but I’m not so sure.  Whenever you see a guy that had been performing at the level Jimenez was last year, and then has a production slide, it means one of two things.  He is either hurt, or has some crazy off the field issues like alcoholism + deviant sex life + uncontrollable rage + insists on Toto records being played in clubhouse.  My guess is the injury thing.  Teams will put up with anything if a guy can put it together on the diamond.  (See Bradley, Milton or Gooden, Dwight for reference)  If a guy is hurt, they’ll dump him like a wet newspaper.

I like the fact that the Indians took a chance.  They shipped out two big time prospects, and everyone is freaking out about that.  Let’s be honest though, prospects are overrated.  With the exception of C.C. Sabathia, have any of these prospects actually worked out for the Indians lately?  Here’s the Indians top draft choices looking back from 2007:  Beau Mills, Trevor Crowe, Jeremy Sowers, Michael Aubrey, and Brad Snyder.  Any of those guys you wouldn’t hesitate to deal?  I’d deal any one of those guys for a good well made toaster.  Prospects are always discussed in these excited “can’t miss’ tones, when in fact, they usually miss.  The “Moneyball” concept showed that college baseball success was indicative of future success at the MLB level.  You know what’s an even bigger indicator of success at the MLB level?  Previous success at the MLB level.

The way I see it, if they miss the Playoffs this year they can always deal Jimenez next year and essentially restock with someone else’s prospects.  This was a good deal for the franchise.  They needed to show the fan base they wanted to win, and were committed to doing something about it.  Will it be enough?  Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Aug 1 2011. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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