On the strength of a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.30 ERA (114 ERA+) in 182 2/3 innings, right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez has declined the $8 million option for 2014 that the Indians had previously exercised. Now, Jimenez becomes a free agent.
Jimenez, 29, has pitched to a 3.92 ERA, 112 ERA+, 1.35 WHIP and 2.05 K/BB across parts of eight major-league seasons. In 2010, he finished third in the NL Cy Young balloting as a member of the Rockies.
Given the somewhat thin market for free-agent starting pitching this offseason, this decision was likely an easy one for Jimenez.
In turn, the Indians have until Monday to tender a $14 million qualifying offer to Jimenez. If they do, then they'll be entitled to a first-round compensatory draft pick should Jimenez sign elsewhere.