Here’s the report from Ken Rosenthal:
The Yankees’ interest in trading for Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is real, but only at a suitable price.
Jimenez, the biggest prize in this year’s trade market, is a known target of the Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers and other clubs.
The sincerity of the Yankees’ interest has been in question, but they are indeed “kicking the tires,” according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
The source, however, estimates that the Yankees’ chances of landing Jimenez are “less than 50 percent,” and says that such a move likely would require the team to spin right-hander Phil Hughes to the bullpen.
Actually, I just pulled a fast one on you guys. That’s a report from July 6, 2010 regarding Cliff Lee, 2 days before the ill fated deal was nearly consummated. I just swapped out the names to make a point that Joel Sherman also made yesterday. We’ve seen the Yankees dance this dance before. As Joe P of RAB pointed outlast week, Jimenez simply makes too much sense for the Yanks to be this seemingly disinterested. I would add that Ubaldo gives the Yanks added leverage in the coming CC opt out negotiations, and if his presence allows the Yanks to shave just one year off what could be another 3 year extension for Sabathia, that alone pays for Jimenez entire 20 mil contract. That ‘s why I don’t believe the Yanks when they’re apparently balking at a proposed Montero-Betances-Nova deal. Nova is a back of the rotation starter who doesn’t miss bats, Betances is still a lottery ticket whose best case scenario is to become Jimenez, and Montero doesn’t have a long term spot on this team.
The Yanks are being smart, trying to hang on to as many chips as they can for future prospective deals. Josh Johnson starts making big bucks next year. Jack Z could be gone after this season and the next Mariners GM may be more amenable to dealing King Felix. You’ll need some serious trade chips to make one of those deals, so the Yanks are trying like heck to hang on to as many as they can. But in terms of organizational depth, you have Romine behind Montero, Banuelos behind Betances, and Warren/Phelps/Mitchell behind Nova. The reality is that the Yanks have the chips to make this deal and another. I think the reported wide gap between the two sides in valuing Ubaldo Jimenez is just negotiating through the press. As are the Rockies, who are now trying to sell people that the Red Sox and their decimated farm system are a serious suitor for Ubaldo. That seems like an attempt to extract more from the Yanks, which only further cements the suspicion I have that a last minute deal between the two teams will be struck. The Rockies appear to want what the Yanks have to offer, and we’ve seen this dance by the Yankees before.