GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians were never going to offer Ubaldo Jimenez the kind of contract he reportedly has in place with the Orioles. Barring a total collapse of the pitcher's market, Cleveland was always going to happily accept the Draft-pick compensation.
If Jimenez passes a physical and indeed signs the reported four-year pact worth $50 million with Baltimore, the Tribe will net a compensatory pick between the first and second round of the First-Year Player Draft. As things currently stand, that would give the Indians four picks before the end of the second round.
"Any opportunity we have to acquire talent is an important opportunity for us organizationally," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Our long-term success will be predicated based upon how successful we are at acquiring and developing our own talent.
"The model that we need to follow is the one where we add and supplement through free agency, but not build teams through free agency. So having those additional Draft picks, we're excited about that opportunity and excited about that opportunity to add a lot of talent into the system."
The Orioles would forfeit the 17th overall pick in the first round by completing their deal with Jimenez, helping the Indians slide from 22nd to 21st in the Draft's opening round. Right now, Cleveland's pick in Compensation Round A falls in at No. 30 overall, but that will change if free agents Kendrys Morales, Nelson Cruz or Ervin Santana sign prior to the Draft.
The Indians will also have a selection in the Competitive Balance Round, which comes before the second round. Cleveland currently has the 37th and 62nd overall picks before the third round begins, though that could change.
Antonetti said acquiring as many picks as possible helps a team in Cleveland's position.
"When you're dealing with amateur talent in the baseball Draft, it's not a perfect science," Antonetti said. "There's a lot of different things that can happen from the time a player is drafted from high school and college throughout his professional career. There's a really high attrition rate, so the more picks you have, and the higher those picks are, the more you stack the deck in your favor."