George King reported Friday that the Yankees were looking at the Rockies starter, and now everyone seems to have jumped into the story. Peter Gammons says the Rockies believe they have a 10 percent chance of trading their ace. The Rockies general manager says, “We would have to be absolutely overwhelmed” to make such a deal. Jon Heyman says the Rockies have asked the Yankees for arguably their four most valuable trade chips. Not one of those four. All four.
That’s the difficulty of obtaining Jimenez: The Rockies don’t have to trade him because he’s still just 27 years old and signed to a team-friendly deal through 2014. One great young player won’t do it because Jimenez himself is a great young player who’s already more proven than any prospect. Dumping salary isn’t an overwhelming factor because the contract makes sense.
Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos are the big three among Yankees trade chips. At least one would almost certainly have to be included in a deal for Jimenez, and the Rockies apparently want Ivan Nova too. Just making small talk today, I said that I’d be willing to include one of the big three, plus Nova, plus a next-level prospect or two (Austin Romine, Adam Warren, etc.). Anything more would be tough to lose. Anything less probably wouldn’t come close. And I’m not even sure I’d take that package if I were the Rockies.
Jimenez had a “bad” second half last year and still had a 2.2 strikeouts per walk, a .223 opponents batting average and almost 6.1 innings per start after the break. He’s good and he’s young and he’s fairly cheap, which means he’s going to be very expensive on the trade market.
One other Yankees-Rockies connection comes from Heyman who says the two teams have also discussed Ty Wigginton as a trade candidate who might fill Alex Rodriguez’s shoes for a while and then fall into a utility role.