Indians extend Ubaldo Jimenez a qualifying offer

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland will receive draft pick compensation if Jimenez leaves in free agency.

The Cleveland Indians extended starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez a qualifying offer, the team announced Monday.

Jimenez officially became a free agent last Thursday when he declined his mutual option. Cleveland had not yet decided whether to offer Jimenez the one-year contract; the Indians have a tight budget for 2014, and will have to pay him $14.1 million next season if he accepts the offer.

The pitcher, however, seems likely to decline the offer and test free agency. Jimenez is coming off a bounce-back season, going 13-9 with a 3.32 ERA. He pitched especially well down the stretch, posting a 1.82 ERA with 100 strikeouts after the All-Star break, helping the Indians secure a spot in the AL Wild Card game.

If another team signs Jimenez, the Indians will receive draft pick compensation for the starter. If a team outside the top ten picks in the 2014 Amateur Draft inks the starter, Cleveland will receive their first round pick.

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