The Indians haven't been in contact with Ubaldo Jimenez' agents in "weeks," according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The free agent righty is one of several remaining free agents that turned down a qualifying in November.
Jimenez, 30, is widely considered one of the best starters left in free agency, but teams are hesitant to forfeit a high draft pick, and the slot money associated with it, in order to sign him.
Last season, Jimenez posted a 3.30 ERA over 182⅔ innings for the Indians after struggling through his first year and a half with the club. Bringing him back wouldn't cost the team a first-round pick, but they would miss out on the compensatory selection -- at the end of the first round -- that they would earn if Jimenez signed elsewhere.
Although the Cleveland pitching staff has already lost Scott Kazmir this offseason, they appear to be willing to begin the season without Ubaldo as well. Their current group consists of Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister, and a potential mix of minor leaguers including prospect Trevor Bauer.
They have been linked to Jimenez' fellow qualified free agent Ervin Santana recently, so they might not consider their rotation a completely settled matter.
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