Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – After three seasons with the Cleveland Indians, veteran pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez voided the final year of his contract to hit the free-agent market.
The Indians picked up Jimenez’s club option for 2014 but the pitcher opted to use his right to void the final year of the deal that he signed with the Colorado Rockies in 2009 before he was traded to Cleveland in 2011.
Cleveland has one more chance to keep Jimenez by extending a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer prior to Monday’s deadline.
By doing so, the Indians would secure a compensatory pick in the 2014 Draft if Jimenez declines the offer and signs with another team. Should Jimenez accept the one-year offer, he would be considered signed and the Tribe would not earn an extra Draft pick.
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti met with Jimenez at the end of the season to discuss the possibility of keeping the right-hander in Cleveland.
“Definitely, it feels good to be here,” Jimenez said at the end of the season. “They did everything possible to help me out. They never gave up on me.”
Last season, Jimenez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 182 2/3 innings, turning in an impressive rebound from a 9-17 showing in 2012.
In parts of eight seasons with the Rockies and Tribe, the 29-year-old Jimenez has gone 82-75 with a 3.92 ERA.
In his three seasons with the Indians, the right-hander went 26-30 with a 4.45 ERA in 74 starts, during which he piled up 399 strikeouts and 202 walks in 424 2/3 innings.
Meanwhile, the Indians declined the club option it held for outfielder Jason Kubel, who is now a free agent.
The 31-year-old Kubel played in eight games for the Indians after being acquired from Arizona on Aug. 29 for right-hander Matt Langwell. He hit 30 home runs for the D-backs in 2012, and 28, along with 103 RBIs, for the Twins in 2009.
Jimenez and Kubel join starter Scott Kazmir, relievers Joe Smith, Matt Albers and Rich Hill, and catcher Kelly Shoppach as Cleveland’s free agents this winter.