Rockies Lock Up Ubaldo Jimenez

WEDNESDAY, 5:27pm: Renck adds more specifics. If Jimenez is dealt before the contract’s final year, he can void the 2014 club option that could cover his first year of free agency.

TUESDAY, 3:04pm: Contract details from Renck: "It’s a four-year, $10-million deal with two club options, that if exercised, would bring value of contract to $22.75 million."  The club options were crucial for the Rockies, said Dan O’Dowd.

12:06pm: The Rocky Mountain News says the deal locks up Jimenez through 2012 and has club options for 2013 (his final arb year) and 2014 (his first free agent year).  Renck says Matt Cain‘s deal may be a comparable.

11:38am: Renck says the Rockies signed Jimenez to a four-year contract.  I believe that will leave Jimenez unsigned for one arb year (2013) before he’s eligible for free agency.

TUESDAY, 8:33am: According to Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, the Rockies hope to sign starter Ubaldo Jimenez to an extension.  Jimenez is open to the idea.

The 25 year-old with the blazing fastball had a fine 2008, posting a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts.  His control needs work, but his 54.4% groundball rate meshed nicely with Coors Field.  Jimenez won’t be arbitration-eligible until after the 2010 season.

The young pitchers recently signed to extensions aren’t good comps for Jimenez – Cole Hamels is a Super Two and one of the game’s best, while Zack Greinke is an odd case having earned $1.4MM in his first arb year.  If Paul Maholm signs an extension, that might be a good match (despite the difference in service time).

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