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MLB Trade Rumors: Tigers Scouting Ubaldo Jimenez?

If the Colorado Rockies are interested in dealing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, the Detroit Tigers are among many teams that would like to talk trade with them.

According to FOXSports.com’s Tracy Ringolsby, 17 scouts were in attendance at Coors Field on Thursday night as Jimenez faced the Milwaukee Brewers. Jon Paul Morosi confirmed that one of those scouts was with the Tigers. Pitching six innings, the Rockies’ right-hander allowed two runs and six hits with four strikeouts.

Jimenez’s numbers this season may not look all that impressive, with a 5-8 record and 4.08 ERA. But he’s still struck out 99 batters in 110 1/3 innings. In his past nine starts, since giving up six runs and 12 hits in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Jimenez has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of those appearances. (And when he gave up more than two runs, he only allowed three.)

We’re also talking about a pitcher that went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA last season. He looked like the favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award in the first half, going 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA.

Going into Friday night, the Rockies are 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West with a record of 44-48. While that may look like they’re still in the race, the Rockies have to contend with both the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. But the team would probably have to fall further behind before it considers trading its best pitcher.

(And as Bless You Boys points out, Jimenez is still pretty cheap. He’s owed $10 million on the last two years of his contract. The deal includes an $8 million club option for 2014, but Jimenez can void that if traded.)

For that kind of talent, team control and price tag, the Rockies would surely ask for top prospects in return. Could the Tigers make such a deal without involving Jacob Turner? If not, they’d likely have to turn over a hefty load of players. But without Turner, would the Rockies be interested, knowing what they have in Jimenez?