Ubaldo Jimenez free agency: Pitcher expecting over $14 million per year

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jimenez has not seen much of a market develop for him yet, but is still holding out hopes for a big deal.

Free agent starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has been telling interested teams that he still expects to sign a multi-year deal worth over $14 million per season, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

So far this offseason, interest in Jimenez has been fairly light. His 2013 teammate with the Indians, Scott Kazmir, signed early with the Oakland Athletics.Fearing a hole in their rotation, Cleveland has been hoping to re-sign Jimenez but may be waiting until later in the offseason when his demands lower.

Jimenez turned down a qualifying offer from the Indians earlier in the offseason, meaning any other team signing him would be required to forfeit a high draft pick. That factor is likely contributing to the lack of rumors surrounding the right-hander.

His contract demands may also make teams hesitate as he had been pitching very poorly for the Indians before the 2013 season. After being acquired at the 2011 trade deadline from the Rockies, he posted a 5.31 ERA over his first year-and-a-half in Cleveland, struggling with his control and generally not looking like the same pitcher that had a 2.88 ERA in 2010 with Colorado.

However, Jimenez believes he is worth a big contract given his resurgence in 2013. After a slow start, he had a 2.61 ERA over his last 28 starts and held opponents to a 664 OPS. He also struck out 174 batters over 166 innings in that timeframe.

Though Jimenez comes with more risk and the loss of a draft pick, he may be a more appealing option than Ervin Santana or Matt Garza due to his price tag. Though he is seeking $14 million a season, he is likely to get somewhere around a three-year deal that will keep him cheaper in the long run.

For now, there have been some rumors about the Blue Jays, Yankees, Angels and Nationals all being interested in Jimenez. However, it appears he will have to wait at least until after Masahiro Tanaka signs before negotiations pick up.

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