Not exactly breaking news, but it's worth mentioning again.
The Indians picked up Jimenez's option, only to have him void it. That voiding option triggered when Jimenez was dealt to the Indians in 2011, and thanks to his great second half, Ubaldo will not lack for suitors. It will be fascinating to see what type of dollars and years that Jimenez will end up with, as that great second half came after almost two years of awful pitching.
The Indians will very likely make a Qualifying Offer to Jimenez, and Jimenez will almost certainly turn that offer down. Jimenez declining the offer will not mean that the Indians cannot sign him, but I don't see the Indians matching the offers that he'll be getting on the free agent market. The QO will allow the Indians to receive a draft pick if he signs somewhere else.
The Indians also declined Jason Kubel's option, which was expected. Kubel's option was for $7.5M, and given what he did last year, that would have represented a massive overpay for someone who is more of a DH than an outfielder at this stage of his career.
With Jimenez and Kubel off the roster, that means that the 40-man roster now has 32 players, though keep in mind that the Indians still need to activate the four players on the 60-day DL. So by early this week, the Indians will have four 40-man roster spots to play with.
Rohlinger was a regular on last year's AAA team, playing mostly third base. But don't count on him being competition for Lonnie Chisenhall next spring. He'll probably go back to Columbus, perhaps serving more of a utility role if Giovanny Urshela is on the roster.
J.C. Ramirez spent most of his professional career with the Phillies after being dealt there in one of the many Cliff Lee deals. This was the one that sent Lee from Philadelphia to Seattle, and as with every other trade involving Lee, the other club got little in return. Ramirez was once thought of as a future mid-rotation starter, but injuries and ineffectiveness changed his ceiling to that of a reliever. Ramirez split 2013 between Lehigh Valley and the Phillies, spending the second half of the season in the majors. But it didn't go well for him, as he allowed a 7.50 ERA in 24.0 innings, with 6 home runs allowed. Outrighted after the season, the Indians will likely send him to Columbus in the hopes that a change of scenery will help.
Here's the latest offseason roster:
(click to embiggen)
Right now the 25-man roster payroll is slated to end up around $71-72M, and that's assuming that the Indians don't sign a free agent or add a player via trade. Last year's payroll was $80M, so if you assume a modest bump, that gives them possibly $15M to spend.
AL Central News
It's not confirmed yet, but it appears that Brad Ausmus will be hired as the next Tigers manager. Ausmus spent the three seasons as a special assistant in the San Diego front office, and to my knowledge he hasn't spent any time on minor-league or major-league coaching staff. But that's been the trend lately (Robin Ventura, Mike Matheny).
After the 1913 season, the Giants and White Sox went on worldwide tour that eventually saw them go to five continents. This of course was when the only way to travel overseas was by boat, so you can imagine the logistical nightmare this was. Anyway, South Side Sox will be detailing the tour 100 years later, so be sure to check back there from time to time.
Royals Review will once again be hosting a Winter Meeting simulation, with fans from all 30 MLB teams making trades, free agent signs, and other moves on behalf of their teams.
Another listing of the important offseason dates on the MLB calendar.