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Report: Orioles and Ubaldo Jimenez agree to a four-year, $50 million deal

Feb 17, 2014, 6:53 PM EST

Ubaldo Jimenez Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Orioles and Jimenez agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal.

6:53 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles and Jimenez have reached agreement on a deal, pending a physical.

6:23 p.m. ET: After sitting on the sidelines for most of the offseason, the Orioles finally appear ready to make a big splash.

Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles have made “substantial progress” in contract talks with free agent right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and are working to finalize a deal. The contract, if finalized, is believed to be for four years and around $48 million.

Jimenez hoped to land a monster contract this offseason after his monster second half last year, but things haven’t turned out exactly as planned. Surely many teams weren’t convinced that a handful of excellent starts were enough to make a substantial investment — it looks like he’ll end up getting a similar contract to Ricky Nolasco (Twins) and Matt Garza (Brewers) — but it also didn’t help that he was attached to draft pick compensation. The Orioles have also been linked to Ervin Santana in recent weeks, but Jimenez has more upside if his second half is a sign of things to come. For a team with a brief window to win with their current roster, they might as well shoot for the moon here. Of course, the bust potential is pretty big, too.

The Orioles will surrender their first-round pick (No. 17 overall) and the corresponding draft pool money if they sign Jimenez. He would join a starting rotation which also projects to include Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, and Miguel Gonzalez.

  1. uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 5:50 AM

    With Jimenez now gone IF the Mariners are going to sign a decent free agent starter to make up for the possible delay(s) in either Iwakuma and or Walker not being ready for the start of the season there is ONLY one left Ervin Santana. Baring a trade or signing Santana it looks like the Mariners starting rotation is looking a little thin at least for at least the 1st month on the season.

    Also if they are going to make any additions to their offense it would appear that Cruz and Morales are the only remaining options. Both players come with their own set of issues so neither player is the ideal player for the Mariners who aside from signing Cano is really their only significant offensive improvement for 2014.

    • thebirdsareback - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:39 AM

      Plus you’re about to see Morales head to Baltimore too. WAH WAH lol

      • mmeyer3387 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        I’m not sure that the Orioles are planning to spend much more money. Besides, they may want to lock up Davis, Hardy or Matt W.

    • paperlions - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      Why would you sign a guy looking for 3+ years because you might be down a starter for a few weeks?

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        You know the funny thing about injuries my friend sometimes players don’t always come back from them in the timetable they are hoping for.

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Sorry UYF, my friend, this is mostly a Yankee fan spewing sour grapes nonsense at a team who lured away a Yankee second baseman. New York wishes it had Seattle’s rotation. Hernandez dwarf’s Sabathia. Iwakuma, who is expected to be ready by mid-May is a wash against Kuroda. Better to have him out for the first 6 weeks than worthless the last six weeks. Add in Walker and Paxton, and if current rumors are correct Capuano, and they match-up favorably with Nova, Tanaka, and Pineda (who they always thought would suffer arm trouble due to his delivery style).

      It doesn’t stop with rotation either. The Mariner infield outshines the Pinstripe one too. And while the Yankee outfield is superior, it doesn’t overwhelm the comparison like the infield match-ups.

      In addition the Mariners have a proven closer, an actual 8th inning guy, and greater depth in the pen. And they may not be done. Cruz or Morales could well add to the bench/DH. And in Franklin they have a prospect that other teams actually want.

      Will the Mariners be better than the Yankees in 2014? Hard to tell. But my guess is they will both be battling for the same wild card spot, and their future looks much brighter.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        My friend, it is not sour grapes at all. I have to say I resent you characterization of my comment above. In fact if you recall I have been pretty consistent in my posts here and other places that the Yankees should have offered a 6 year deal max with possibly a 7th year option. Give him that deal early and tell him that’s it. If he didn’t like it or respond within a certain time the Yankees should move on.

        I also fail to understand why you continually compare the Mariners to Yankees. They don’t compete in the same division in fact they only play each other 6 times a year. Heck you have to go all the way back to the 2002 season for the last time the Mariners even won a season series from the Yankees. Whether or not any aspect of the Mariners team is or isn’t better than the Yankees isn’t the point you seem to be the only one that cares. Since the Yankees play the Rays, Red Sox, Orioles and Jays roughly 72 games or 45% of their schedule I’m more concerned about how those games play out. Since you have stated on many occasions here that outside of the Cardinals the Mariners are near the top of your favorite teams list you might concern yourself with how the Mariners will compete against the Rangers, A’s and Angels and since the Mariners just barely won their season series last year against the Astros that might be a concern as well.

        I know I’m not going to lose any sleep whatsoever about how the Mariners and Yankees match up, I’m not sure you should either. Have a good day.

      • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        UYF, my good friend, for a team that only plays the Seattle squad 6 times a year, you sure seem to spend an awful lot of time dissin’ them. If you have so little concern for them, then why spend so much time commenting about them.

        Since you are such a fan of the Yanks, a comparison to them only seems natural, cause you are so familiar with them. Maybe it isn’t sour grapes, but please explain why you continue to demean their team.

        Correct you are that the Mariners are going to have a lot of competition in the West, but the Yanks are going to have just as much in the East. If I had to bet today, my guess is no wild card comes out of the East, and only one comes from the West.

      • mmeyer3387 - Feb 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        I’m not sure that the Orioles are planning to spend much more money. Besides, they may want to lock up Davis, Hardy or Matt W.

  2. thebirdsareback - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    12 Mil a year for a solid #2-#3 starter who throws in the 100’s and you “Baseball guys” think its a lousy signing. Please you haters, get your heads out of your butts. This is a slam dunk for both sides. He gets to leave that dumb of a pothole Cleveland, Ohio, and follow the same rout as Their sorry football team to beautiful BALLLTEEEMOOOORRREEEE Maryland. Likely to share similar successes as the football team (Two Superbowls, if your homerism has allowed you to forget) UBALDOMORE instantly! improves this rotation and if you think differently, then you’re lacking in evaluation skills, and thank god you dont get paid for your baseball opinions. IAMOUTBYE

    • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:55 AM

      My friend first let me say I like Jimenez. But having said that what have you been smoking? Jimenez hasn’t been a solid #2 or #3 or otherwise since the middle of the 2010 season. Also Jimenez doesn’t throw in the 100’s. He’s been somewhat erratic with his velocity the past 2 years generally ranging mostly in the mid 90’s to occasionally about 97 MPH.

      If you are interested in the facts check out this link and chart:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=3374&position=P&pitch=FA

      • thebirdsareback - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        13-9 is better then any pitcher on the Orioles outside of Tillman…so id say…I am smoking something better then you. Need a number for a guy bro. Ok so I am 3MPH off get over yourself man. He is absolutely a solid # 2 starter. And with the improvements in his pitching and our coaching, he is poised to have success on this squad.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        @ thebirdsareback, I would continue this discussion in more detail but until you are willing to take off those rose colored glasses you are wearing concerning Jimenez it is pointless.

        BTW, I guess you skipped over my comment that said Jimenez has pitch mostly in the mid 90’s. That’s more then 3 MPH off the 100’s as you claimed.

        Have a good day.

      • rockthered1286 - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:03 AM

        Mediator time!

        @thebirdsareback let me preface and say I am an avid O’s fan. Now let me correct you a bit here- Jimenez is a GOOD pitcher but he’s no stud. He’s been super inconsistent over the past few years since his last year in Colorado. And W-L is not a good reference to use, as it’s a TEAM stat. Now you could easily say he had a very solid second half of 2013 and I would back you 100%. He appears to have made some minor changes to his approach and suddenly in his last 2 months his ERA dives and K’s jump up. He did go 5-2 against the AL East last year if you want another silver lining to this deal. HOWEVER.. he will be a #2 at best. Again- at best. That’s assuming we get the second half of last year’s version of Jimenez. Most likely, he will be a solid mid-rotation guy. I can see him falling behind Tillman and Chen, and above Gonzo and Chunk Norris. And one more thing- enough with the comparisons to the football team and trashing Cleveland as a city. Ignorance and arrogance is not a shade we like to wear here in Baltimore and it’s comments like that which further perpetuate the stereotype that Baltimore fans are not the sharpest crayons in the box and pump our chest at even the slightest positive note (like jumping up and down about Jimenez). Let’s keep it classy buddy and see what the season brings! Let’s go O’s!

        @uyf1950 ….. you’re right.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        @ rockthered1286, ah the voice of reason. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:08 AM

      BTW, just one additional comment in response to your “Ubaldo instantly improves” the O’s rotation. That’s probably the most accurate thing you said above. It’s true mainly because in 2013 the O’s starting rotation was ranked 27th out of the 30 MLB teams in ERA and 1st in HR’s allowed. Quite honestly they had nowhere to go but to improve.

  3. buffalo65 - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    The birds are back, but they are blue. Gonna shock the east this year.
    Sox and yanks regress, jays edge rays and O’s for first.

    • thebirdsareback - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      So you’re like training to be a comedian or something? i know you guys in canada can be pretty funny.

      • nbjays - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        I know right? I want some of what Buffalo’s been smoking. Hell, I’m a die-hard Jays fan but I’m not that delusional.

        Wow! Just…. wow!

    • cur'68 - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Oh, please. They got a rotation 2/3 made of old tires with new tread. They don’t have a 2nd baseman. Their catcher hasn’t played much the last few seasons. Their SS is injury prone. Their 2 biggest sluggers finished the season with injuries. AND they did little to get better in the off season. In the division are the Rays: a team with NONE of those problems who were great last season, and added a full time catcher, not a career back up.

      The Beaver Wrestlers need some serious luck to even be in the conversation for the AL Beast title. The Rays win it easy with the O’s contending for the WC, the end.

  4. keets55 - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    unjustified CitySlam aside, two-and-a-half poor years to my way of thinking doesn’t justify the risk. Jiminez certainly had a good half-year but there are reasons why Tribe fans came to call him U-bad-oh even during his resurgence. hopefully for the Orioles he doesn’t fall into the routine which was too, too familiar in Cleveland—–one strong trip through the order and then trouble.

    your assertion that Jiminez “who throws in the 100′s” is bit off, he tops out around 96 and is typically at 93-95, but his trouble isn’t velocity as much as location. when he struggled it wasn’t as much due to hits as it was to walks. he has a nice slider but not the movement on his fastball that a top starter needs, but perhaps he’ll be a good fit for Baltimore.

  5. dowhatifeellike - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    In the last 3 seasons (all in the AL) he’s posted a WHIP of 1.47. That’s all the statistical analysis you need.

  6. yordo - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Will they move him to the pen halfway through the season when he has an ERA over 6 and Bundy is ready?

    • rockthered1286 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Justify this ERA you proclaim without using the phrase “well in 2011 and 2012.” Is it possible? Sort of. His ERA has ballooned to 5+ but never over 6 as far as I can remember. But is it likely? I doubt it. He’ll be mid-3’s to 4 in my opinion. But with a new pitching coach, new catcher and the leagues top D to back him up? It’s anybody’s GUESS.

  7. campcouch - Feb 20, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    wow.Fifty mil.

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