Ubaldo Jimenez took another step toward walking away from the Indians on Monday, rejecting the team’s $14.1 million qualifying offer.
The move was expected from Jimenez, who will test the free-agent market after posting a 13-9 record and 3.30 ERA in 32 starts for Cleveland. None of the 13 major league players presented with qualifying offers accepted by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
The Indians could still re-sign Jimenez, who struggled for the majority of his tenure in Cleveland before turning it around with a dominant second half this season, but the 29-year-old right-hander is expected to command a lucrative multi-year contract.
If Jimenez signs with another team this winter, the Indians will receive a compensatory draft pick immediately following the first round.
The Indians are interested in re-signing Jimenez’s rotation mate, left-hander Scott Kazmir, a candidate for comeback player of the year, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts, after spending the entire 2012 season in the independent league.
Relief pitchers Joe Smith and Matt Albers, as well as backup catcher Kelly Shoppach, are all free agents.