The Cleveland Indians would have welcomed Ubaldo Jimenez back with open arms, if he had agreed to the one year qualifying contract offered by the Tribe. However, Cleveland knew all along it was a long shot scenario.
On Monday, Ubaldo officially declined the one year, $14 million contract and elected to seek a multi-year deal with another team. The Indians will gain a compensatory pick in the June First Year Players Draft if Ubaldo signs with a new team this winter.
Jimenez was one of thirteen free agents to receive a qualifying offer last week. Each of those thirteen players rejected their one year contacts before the deadline on Monday at 5 pm ET. As the CBA states, the $14 million figure was determined by the average salary of MLB’s 125highest paid players.
Ubaldo and left handed pitcher Scott Kazmir are among the free agents on the ball club this offseason.
“If we had our preference — obviously, that group performed very well — we’d bring them back,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said at the end of the season. “I think the thing we’re encouraged about is the depth we have there. To be able to have Justin Masterson back and Corey Kluber, and the progress he made this year,Danny Salazar for a full year, Zach McAllister, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin. That’s a good foundation from which to build, to be able to have seven or eight guys going into the offseason that we think can be Major League starters, and effective Major League starters. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to add to that group, whether it’s re-signing some of the guys that are here or adding to it elsewhere.”