After back to back seasons’ of over 90 losses, the Indians shocked much of baseball by getting off to a hot start in 2011.
The Indians started the season 30-15 and jumped out to a seven-game AL Central lead over the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland would enter the all-star break 47-41 on the season, leading them to become trade deadline buyers.
There, they made a massive move as they traded four prospects to the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
At the time of the trade, Jimenez was one of baseball’s top starters. In 2010, he was named an all-star and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.88 ERA, 19-8 record and even tossed the first no-hitter in Rockies history.
The Indians’ hoped he’d become a top of the rotation starter to help guide the team to a surprise postseason berth. Instead, he struggled as he pitched to a 5.11 ERA in 11 starts and Cleveland’s engine ran out of gas as they finished the season 80-82 and missed the playoffs.
Jimenez would struggle again in 2012 as he posted a 5.40 ERA and 9-17 record, but in 2013 found some of the magic from Colorado as he posted a 3.30 ERA, 13-9 record and helped the Indians clinch an AL Wild Card Spot. He wound up leaving the team in free agency for the Baltimore Orioles after the 2013 season.
As for the prospects traded for Jimenez, only one panned out to be a long-time major leaguer in left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz.
Pomeranz spent three years in Colorado before bouncing around the league with teams such as Oakland, San Diego, where he was named an all-star in 2016, Boston, where he helped the Red Sox win the world series in 2018, San Francisco and Milwaukee. He is currently in his second stint with the Padres.
In the end, this trade ended up being a win for the Indians as while Jimenez did not help the team produce upon arrival in 2011, he did wind up playing a large role in a 2013 postseason run, while none of the prospects moved to Colorado worked out long-term for the Rockies.