When right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett signed a one-year $16 million deal with the Phillies Wednesday, it took another free agent pitcher off the market. With time until the season gets underway dwindling by the day, former Indians picther Ubaldo Jimenez remains without a team.
The Indians offered the right-hander a deal before he hit the market, but it was promptly turned down. Since then, Jimenez and another similar pitcher in Ervin Santana, have found the new draft compensation rules attached to free agents to be tough to deal with. As much as the Indians could use Jimenez in the rotation again this season, the club seems to be standing pat instead of continuing to go after him, likely because the Tribe covets the draft pick it would gain as compensation for losing him.
But interest in Jimenez and Santana may just pick up a bit after news Wednesday that Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma will miss four to six weeks with a strained tendon in the middle finger of his right hand. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and a draft pick could be a risk the Mariners might be willing to take.