By the end of the first inning Saturday, Ubaldo Jimenez would surrender four runs on 41 pitches and be traded to the Cleveland Indians. Manager Jim Tracy hugged Ubaldo and whispered in his ear prior to “the Chief” entering the dugout. He then shook hands with his other teammates after taking the mound for the last time as a Colorado Rockie. While Jimenez took the hill in the first, the bullpen was all ready active with Esmil Rogers warming up right from the get go. Everybody knew the deal was just moments away, and so did Ublado.
Rogers entered the game after a forgettable first inning from Ubaldo, and that was the last time Rockies fans would see #38 in purple pinstripes.
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The Rockies acquired in the deal right-handed pitchers Alex White and Joe Gardner, catcher/first baseman Matt McBride and a player-to-be-named-later. That player will end up being left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz. The southpaw can’t be “named” until August due to having been under contract for less than a year.
Pomeranz is the cornerstone of the deal despite being unavailable until mid-August. He is heavily touted as one of the best arms of the minor league ranks, and according to the Denver Post, the consensus among major-league execs is the deal was fair. We won’t know whether this deal turns to gold or to dirt until next year really.
I’m unhappy to see Ubaldo go because I really thought he would be a long-tenured starting pitcher who could grow with the roster of future long-termers in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. I just hope that GM Dan O’Dowd is crazy like a fox and not just crazy for dealing the guy who brought the Rockies their first no-hitter and was on pace to break starting pitcher records in the organization.
Before departing with his family in tow, Ubaldo said he was sad to be leaving after 10 years with the organization, and he thanked the fans for all their support. He also apologized for a very poor last outing because he was distracted by trade talk — he wasn’t even sure whether he was going to get the start until game time. With he shirt partially unbuttoned and purple tie hanging undone around his neck, Ubaldo Jimenez thanked the media, turned and walked off camera, and onto a potential playoff roster.