Why is Ubaldo Jiminez still on the market after a very competitive 2013 season? Why are the Indians leaving him unsigned? And, more to the point, why are the Red Sox not showing interest?
Jiminez, once the ace of the Colorado Rockies staff, hurled some good numbers with the Indians last year and is very much in his prime as a pitcher. Last year he was 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA and 194 strikeouts. Statistically he looks like the bargain of the year. At thirty years old, his arm should have some good mileage left on it.
The Red Sox are obviously impressed with the young arms they bring to Spring Training, but Allen Webster, Rubby DeLaRosa, Drake Britton, and the highly-touted Anthony Ranaudo remain unproven as Major League starters. When was the last time the Red Sox brought a rookie pitcher to Fort Myers and left with a new starter in their rotation? The hype has always exceed the performance.
The existing rotation is strong at the top, with Lester, Lackey and Bucholz, but the bottom half is spongey, with Dubront, Peavy, and Dempster. In the post-season the only of them that impressed was Dubront. Brandon Workman could exceed any of them, but he remains untested as a regular starting pitcher.
If the Red Sox were in any other division, I would feel good about rolling the dice with this talent, but the Yankees are restocked and the Rays’ pitching will always challenge this team. To compete at the same level as last year, the Red Sox will need five reliable pitchers and a couple more to rotate in if Bucholz or Peavy goes down.
Regardless of their current talent pool, I think the Red Sox should bring in another established starter to insure a deep rotation and give the young pitchers time to develop. Ubaldo Jimenez looks like a good investment and his signing could allow the younger pitchers to rotate into the staff when they are ready. You can not have too many starting pitchers for the grueling haul in the American League East.