Spring training is just getting underway in Major League Baseball and teams are still making offseason moves for the coming year. The Orioles did just that on Monday by signing pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to add strength to the starting rotation.
The new deal is reportedly a four-year contract for $48 million. According to MASN's Roch Kubatko, this particular deal breaks Baltimore's practice of holding off on giving contracts that long to free agents coming from other clubs. The team also forfeited its first-round draft pick in order to ink the deal.
Jimenez, 30, comes to Baltimore from Cleveland with an 82-75 overall record in the majors and a 3.92 ERA. The right-handed pitcher's best season remains 2010, when he started the All-Star Game for the National League and finished third in Cy Young voting after posting a 2.88 ERA. In 2013, he went 13-9/3.30 with the Indians, who finished second in the AL Central and lost to the Rays in the AL Wild Card game.
Though some are unconvinced that the deal will end up paying dividends for the Orioles, MLB.com's Richard Justice claims Jimenez will help the team make a case for at least clinching a playoff spot this year. All of that is contingent, of course, on whether the Orioles get the Jimenez "they think they're getting."
In 2013, Baltimore finished fourth in the AL East, 12 games behind eventual World Series champ Boston.