Indians starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir can test their luck with a new club in free agency this fall, but both have shown at least some interest in staying in Cleveland, reports Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.
Jimenez, who holds an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for next season, has yet to talk with the Tribe about exercising his 2014 option, but says he's willing to listen because the club has treated him well and Cleveland "feels like home." Kazmir, who will definitely be a free agent in the fall, has held preliminary talks about working out a new deal and is "very interested" in returning to the Tribe.
Jimenez's time with the Indians hasn't exactly gone according to plan. The 29-year-old right-hander struggled in his first season and a half with the Tribe, posting a 5.32 earned-run average in 242 innings. He has managed to turn things around some this year, however. While Jimenez is still having serious issues with the free pass -- over four walks per nine for the second straight season -- his strikeout numbers have bounced back considerably, helping him to a much more palatable 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.
Kazmir, also 29, was pitching (not well) in the independent leagues at this time last year, but has somehow managed to resurrect his big-league career. The southpaw worked out a $1 million deal with the Indians this year and has rewarded them with a 4.36 ERA in 130 innings over 24 starts with the help of his once-lost velocity. He may no longer be the strikeout king he was with the Rays, but he's also not the batting practice pitcher he was in his two years with the Angels.