Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi has been keeping closer tabs on his home state's baseball team this week, so he'd back with another trade rumor. Morosi reported (on Twitter) the Tigers had scouts at last night's game between the Colorado Rockies and the Brewers. The Brewers, 1/2 game out of first place, probably aren't a seller, and the Tigers are looking for pitching. So it's a pretty easy puzzle to put together that Detroit's scouts were probably watching Rockies starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
What makes Jimenez interesting is his situation. Last year he had Cy Young caliber numbers. Years before, he's been consistently above-average while playing half his games in the Mile High City. You might look at his 4.08 ERA this year and go "meh" but his road ERA is actually 2.28. His strikeouts per nine innings is around 8.08 this year. However this year and several past, he always strikes out more batters away from Coors Field. In other words, he's pretty good.
He's also 27 years old and signed to a contract that will cost a combined $10 million in the years 2012 and 2013. (If traded he can void his 2014 year. There's an $8 million club option otherwise with $1 million buyout) There are a few performance incentives there as well. But basically, if he's hitting those you're still paying him half of what his open market value would be. In other words, why the heck would the Rockies even consider trading him? Honestly. Are they crazy or something?
But they seem to have quite a market, as weight teams were watching him pitch. So get those ideas of "buy low" out of your head. When a third of baseball -- counting the two teams playing the game -- are present at a start, there probably won't be a bargain to be found.
Honestly, as HandsomeRob1 has mentioned in the Fanshot's comment section, I think you could give up a lot of prospects for this guy and be pretty well off. It would certainly require gutting the organization. But maybe for a good cause. The contract Jimenez signed means he might not be "cost controlled" in the traditional sense, but he's getting paid like a veteran third baseman who can't hit. That seems pretty cost controlled to me. He seems like the kind of pitcher who would translate well to the AL.
Ultimately, I find this trade scenario unrealistic.But it's fun to dream.
Do you find this likely? What cost would you be OK with paying?