Reactions To The Ubaldo Jimenez Agreement

After a quiet offseason for the Orioles, the team pounced in mid-February, officially announcing a three-year deal for righty Suk-min Yoon yesterday but more significantly (from a financial standpoint, at least) agreeing to a four-year, $50MM contract with Ubaldo Jimenez. Baltimore surrendered the No. 17 pick in this year's draft to issue the largest contract for a pitcher in franchise history. Some early reactions and fallout in the wake of the Jimenez pact…

  • Deep down, the Indians never really wanted Jimenez back in Cleveland, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. While the team admired Jimenez's work ethic and felt he was a positive presence in the clubhouse, they didn't feel his wild performance swings were worth the trouble. Hoynes points out that it's a bonus that Baltimore landed Jimenez, because their forfeiture of the No. 17 pick allows Cleveland to move from No. 22 overall to the No. 21 overall pick in the first round.
  • ESPN's Keith Law writes that despite the associated risk, the contract is a win for the Orioles (ESPN Insider required and recommended). He feels the $12.5MM annual value can end up being a bargain for a pitcher that at times shows three pitches which grade as a 60 or better on the 20-80 scale. Additionally, it allows Kevin Gausman to work on the consistency of his slider in the minors, which he will need in order to thrive as a Major League starter.
  • Law's colleague Buster Olney reports that the Orioles upped their offer from three to four years under the belief that the Red Sox and Blue Jays were both aggressively pursuing Jimenez. However, his sources indicate that neither club actually made an offer (Insider required). Olney points out some risks, such as Jimenez's struggles in limiting the running game, and he also opines that the O's should be more willing to lose further draft picks by pursuing Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales and perhaps even Stephen Drew.
  • MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli runs down what the Jimenez signing means for other pitchers in the organization. Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez are locks (health-permitting), she writes, but Yoon, Bud Norris and out-of-options Zach Britton will battle for the fifth slot. Gausman is almost certainly ticketed for the minors, she writes. Ghiroli also reports that manager Buck Showalter said he prefers an everyday DH and that the best deals often happen in late spring, suggesting that someone such as Morales could be a fit after all.
  • The Jimenez signing should help to discredit the feeling that Orioles owner Peter Angelos is not willing to spend to win, writes the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck.
  • The Sun's Eduardo A. Encina writes that the Orioles' recent international signings made it slightly easier for executive vice president Dan Duquette to surrender the No. 17 pick, as he felt the club added some additional high-upside talent with those moves.
  • Jimenez turned his career around by relying less on his fastball and more on his offspeed stuff — most notably his splitter, writes Eno Sarris of Fangraphs. Jimenez entered the 2013 season having thrown his split just three percent of the time over his career but threw it 14 percent of the time in 2013 with a 17 percent swing-and-miss rate, which helped offset his diminished velocity. If that trend continues, the $12.5MM annual value can be a bargain, Sarris concludes.
  • The Orioles and Jimenez have been working on this deal for a long time, but things came together quickly yesterday when Baltimore conceded and added a fourth year, writes MASNsport.com's Roch Kubatko.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that with Jimenez and Matt Garza each landing four-year, $50MM contracts, Ervin Santana's agents now have a great deal of pressure in trying to match that figure. Sherman also spoke to an executive who called Jimenez the "ultimate crapshoot," noting that Baltimore could be getting a star or a bust. That same exec wondered if Jimenez will struggle facing more patient lineups in the AL East (Twitter links).


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63 Comments on "Reactions To The Ubaldo Jimenez Agreement"


Altodo Woowoo
1 year 6 months ago

He was only good the second half of year…….. horrible deal

danistheguy
1 year 6 months ago

Thanks for your well-researched opinion, guy.

Rcsully
1 year 6 months ago

When Ubaldo is on he is really good but his mechanics are very difficult to repeat

Eric
1 year 6 months ago

Unless this move was part of a bigger plan, losing the 17th pick seems like too much to give up.

RyanWKrol
1 year 6 months ago

17th pick isn’t really that much of a loss. If it was in top 10, then it’s pushing it. Top 5 pick? Everyone should be scratching their heads then. 17 though? Banking on that is a bigger gamble. Once you even get past the top 5 draft picks in any draft, the chances of any pick over the rest of a draft becoming a successful major leaguer become very slim.

malna
1 year 6 months ago

And the top ten picks are protected from FA compensation anyhow. This year, the top 11 picks are protected as the 11th pick belongs to the Jays as a result of not signing their previous year pick.

Eric
1 year 6 months ago

Most teams seem to be balking about giving up mid-to-late round picks.

midixon19
1 year 6 months ago

The 17th pick isn’t even close to a sure thing. The Top 10 in the MLB Draft, while no such thing as a “sure thing” has a MUCH better chance of succeeding. Since 2000 these are the players taken with the 17th overall pick:

2013: Tim Anderson
2012: DJ Davis
2011: CJ Cron
2010: Josh Sale
2009: AJ Pollock
2008: David Cooper
2007: Blake Beavan
2006: Matt Antonelli
2005: CJ Henry
2004: Scott Elbert
2003: David Murphy
2002: Cole Hammels
2001: Dan Denham
2000: Ben Diggins

Not exactly future HOFers. Hammels is the only one who had a decent MLB career. In fact, a case could be made to trade every single #17 overall pick for the last 14 years for Ubaldo Jimenez.

liberalconservative
1 year 6 months ago

Don’t get your hopes up because this is the O’s were talking about. Did he pass his test yet?

mstrchef13
1 year 6 months ago

What kind of test? IQ? Citizenship? English? I don’t get what you’re saying here.

liberalconservative
1 year 6 months ago

physical. If you haven’t been paying attention 2 players did not pass so far this year.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

U r aware that players on other teams fail physicals too? The O’s had two and one signed for way less and the other (Colvin) has come back to the O’s ready to sign a minor league deal which means maybe the O’s doctors were right or had valid reasons for failing those two players. It happens every year with every team.

mstrchef13
1 year 6 months ago

I have been paying attention. Did you know the Phillies failed Chad Gaudin? Last year the Red Sox failed Mike Napoli, and in 2010 they failed two others. It’s not just the Orioles. What’s different is all the whining and complaining that Balfour did, and how one person with an axe to grind and another with a special relationship to Balfour inserted their opinions when they had no business to do so.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Why would the O’s want to add Steven Drew? They have JJ for 2014 and Machado can take over SS in 2015 if JJ leaves.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

second base maybe? I agree seems odd to mention Drew

Mac McDonald
1 year 6 months ago

Slot him in at 2B? I’m not a big fan of Flaherty in there…

Jim Low
1 year 6 months ago

They have Schoop if need be for that position

Mac McDonald
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah, but unless he rakes throughout ST, they will probably want him to get another half to full season at AAA considering he has only played 70 games there so far?

Also, it would allow Schoop to become trade bait.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 6 months ago

If the O’s signed Drew, it would give Schoop time to develop as well. Plus, I don’t think it would be that rough of a transition.
Andino did it and maybe Drew could play some third as well.

Lastly, just to be socialable, I would rather have the O’s sign Cruz over Morales.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not a fan of Flaherty either but Im less of a fan of signing Drew to a FA contract to play a position he has never played n the MLB. Drew’s value comes primarily from his defense so his bat wont carry him through a rough transition to 2B.

Mac McDonald
1 year 6 months ago

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t like the signing either – I’m not a fan of Drew. I was just thinking that’s a way he would fit.

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

The Orioles had a better record with Flaherty at 2B and he had finally started to hit at the end of June when they gave the job back to Roberts. They had a losing record with Roberts at 2B.

OhthePossibilities
1 year 6 months ago

Flahrt put up very good numbers after coming back from AAA. He really should not have been replaced by Roberts.

mstrchef13
1 year 6 months ago

IIRC, Drew has never played 2B for a single game in the major leagues. That’s not what you want on a team that prides itself on its defense.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

no chance, he is an average shortstop and has zero experience at 2nd. I think everyone just expects the O’s to add a bat now that they only have to forfeit the #52 pick. If they do sign an additional player I think it Cruz or Morales on one year deals or Santana to a 3year deal. Other than those possibilities I think they go with what they got.

1 year 6 months ago

Ubaldo Jimenez FIP/xFIP in each of his full seasons as a pitcher:

2008: 3.83/4.16
2009: 3.36/3.59
2010: 3.10/3.60
2011: 3.67/3.71
2012: 5.06/4.98
2013: 3.43/3.62

Let’s think twice before calling Jimenez a bad pitcher or putting too much stock in to a bad 2012 season.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

exactly, plenty of hitters and pitchers go through slumps or bad periods. The good ones always come back to their mean and his is pretty good. Everyone points out his great pitching was against weak competition in the 2nd half but forget to note that Cleveland was playing for their playoff lives. Maybe he hated the city, maybe he didn’t like the food, or he never felt comfortable. Of course it could blow up but overall this is a good deal for the Orioles and they made the right move.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

exactly, plenty of hitters and pitchers go through slumps or bad periods. The good ones always come back to their mean and his is pretty good. Everyone points out his great pitching was against weak competition in the 2nd half but forget to note that Cleveland was playing for their playoff lives. Maybe he hated the city, maybe he didn’t like the food, or he never felt comfortable. Of course it could blow up but overall this is a good deal for the Orioles and they made the right move.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Morales would be a nice follow up move by the O’s. He is a better all-around hitter than Cruz and should come cheap given that he has no market at the moment.

NOLASoxFan
1 year 6 months ago

I agree. I’d be interested to see him hitting in Camden with a better lineup around him

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

For sure, I can’t figure out why the O’s seem to prefer Cruz. Morales is a switch hitter and could rake in camden yards. He seems like the perfect bat for the O’s DH spot and backup of Chris Davis at first.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

For sure, I can’t figure out why the O’s seem to prefer Cruz. Morales is a switch hitter and could rake in camden yards. He seems like the perfect bat for the O’s DH spot and backup of Chris Davis at first.

NOLASoxFan
1 year 6 months ago

I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but why has no one mentioned whether or not he has taken his physical? I mean, shouldn’t this be a giant caveat in any report of his signing by the O’s?

No Name
1 year 6 months ago

Jimenez is going to pass the physical there isn’t going to be a problem.

NOLASoxFan
1 year 6 months ago

Do you have ESP? How do you know he’s going to pass his physical? Grant Balfour thought he was going to pass his physical, too.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 6 months ago

Because people are finally tiered of that joke….

NOLASoxFan
1 year 6 months ago

Except, it literally wasn’t a joke. As far as I can tell Ubaldo has not taken his physical with the O’s. Since the O’s have nulled two deals already this off-season on the basis of physicals, it should be an obvious concern.

Wooooooo
1 year 6 months ago

Has it ever occurred that the Orioles were doing their due diligence with Balfour, and Tyler Colvin still hasn’t received a major league deal?

NOLASoxFan
1 year 6 months ago

Of course they were doing their due diligence. It’s their right and responsibility. But, no one has cancelled more deals over the last few years on the basis of failed physicals than the O’s. All I’m saying is that, given the track record, shouldn’t everyone wait until he takes the physical?

Meh Sheep
1 year 6 months ago

You mean all 3 that they have failed going back to 2007 including the 2 this year. Wow that is so many. Jair Jurgens (who was hurt) last year and took a minor league deal instead same as was offered to Colvin. For comparison the Red Sox history of failed physicals going back to 2010: Napoli (2012), Aldaberto Ibarra (2010), Jason Bay (2010). Is 3 more than 3 in the last few years? The Orioles allegedly offered a 1 year deal to Balfour after the physical just like the Red Sox did with Napoli last year.

Mac McDonald
1 year 6 months ago

Thank you. This physical stuff is foolish. It’s not like the O’s have done it anymore often than any other team. And you point out the Sox who have actually done it to high profile players (Napoli and Bay) unlike the O’s.

Rabbitov
1 year 6 months ago

The rule states if two people don’t pass physicals in an off-season, no other players will.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

I think in this case it is because it was such a big deal for the O’s to make this kinda signing that they couldn’t contain in or they would have waited as a precaution like they did with Yoon.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

I think in this case it is because it was such a big deal for the O’s to make this kinda signing that they couldn’t contain in or they would have waited as a precaution like they did with Yoon.

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 6 months ago

I really wonder where Santana will end up now if it’s not the Jays or Rockies? Will it end up being a mystery team like the Garza signing?

Bleed_Orange
1 year 6 months ago

Mariners

truroyal15
truroyal15
1 year 6 months ago

Not sure if Santana would sign with the Mariners. He actually wants to win I think.

hozie007
1 year 6 months ago

Orioles front office makes no sense. They pass on Balfour after making an offer…ok, possible medical issue but you look foolish in the process and handled it poorly. Then they commit to Jimenez for 4 years @ $12.5M-AAV when he has been unpredictable in delivery and performance, and from what I’ve heard, he is not a clubhouse favorite. The Indians knew better and did not go after him….that should be signal to other buyers “beware”. I don’t know the Orioles GM (Duquette), and I really don’t care about the Orioles, but these are not smart baseball moves. Look for him to be canned by mid-next season.

Rabbitov
1 year 6 months ago

For all the bellyaching the O’s have been competitive the last two seasons with this exact front office.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 6 months ago

I guess you can’t make everyone happy!

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

Obviously you don’t know about the Orioles or you would know that the combo of Buck and DD have been the best combo for the O’s since Davey Johnson was the manager (98 I think?). DD is not the best GM in the game but is very smart and has to date allocated the resources pretty well, ie: better facilities, additional Dominican teams, more consistency through the levels, better drafting, and a presence on the international front. He didn’t orchestrate this team core (Andy Mcphail did) but he has done a good job with it and he will be here for at least a few more years minimum.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

Obviously you don’t know about the Orioles or you would know that the combo of Buck and DD have been the best combo for the O’s since Davey Johnson was the manager (98 I think?). DD is not the best GM in the game but is very smart and has to date allocated the resources pretty well, ie: better facilities, additional Dominican teams, more consistency through the levels, better drafting, and a presence on the international front. He didn’t orchestrate this team core (Andy Mcphail did) but he has done a good job with it and he will be here for at least a few more years minimum.

gmantacoma
1 year 6 months ago

Come on Baltimore – now you need to sign a full time DH!

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

With the Seattle Avatar I’d imagine you’ve seen a lot of Morales. Do you think that signing Morales is a good move?

gmantacoma
1 year 6 months ago

He would be an excellent sign for a DH/ backup 1Bman. He gives a good quality at bat and you can have reasonable confidence in him with runners on base.
KM would be a much better signing than Cruz.
If the M’s were not overloaded at 1B and DH, then I would be hoping that he would come back to the M’s. If the M’s resign him that would mean too much of Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in the outfield.
I hope you guys sign him so we can pick up the comp draft pick.

Sufferfortribe
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not really going to miss him. Talk about someone that can put you on the brink of a heart attack–that’s how it is watching him, from one pitch to the next. And watch out when runners get on base. That’s when things can get real ugly.

Greg David
1 year 6 months ago

Not to mention all of his starts that only lasted 3-4 innings and killed the bullpen

OhthePossibilities
1 year 6 months ago

He’s moving from Cleveland to Baltimore.

It’s a short matter of time before he wins the Super Bowl.

GoRav114
1 year 6 months ago

As an O’s fan that’s the biggest fear. We had a pitcher here for a while, Daniel Cabrera, who had amazing stuff but would always walk a batter then give up a hit and walk two more guys then give up a homerun. Then would go four innings without giving up a hit but the O’s would lose 5-3, 5-4. Jimenez obviously is a much better pitcher but teams in the AL East are very patient at the plate. Guys like Pedroia, Gardner, Jeter, and Ellsbury seem to be able to wait every pitcher out.

RIYankeeGuy
1 year 6 months ago

Yes, Jimenez is high risk and moving to a division with four hitters parks (Camdens, Fenway, YSIII and Rogers) and deeper line-ups in general. So it’s fair to assume he won’t make it out of the 5th inning a number of times.

That being said, he closed 2013 with 10 straight QS (4 of which included 10 or more K’s). I’d rather pay 50 million for an erratic, but consistently healthy starter who has the ability to shut down a a big time line-up. Garza is a slightly above average 25 GS a year guy and Santana has a lower ceiling with the same up and down history.

Good move for the O’s, but much like the Mariners off-season, they’re still a signing short of giving themselves the best shot to compete in 2014.

malna
1 year 6 months ago

If the current rendition of Yankees Stadium can be known as YSIII we must stop calling Rogers Centre “Rogers”, and always refer to it as the Skydome.

Lest we forget the Dome of the Sky.

Damon Bowman
1 year 6 months ago

It’s funny that everyone’s instinct is that the O’s would look to add a bat — Morales, Cruz, etc. How shocked would the world be if Duquette signed Santana after puttering around all winter? I don’t think it has a snowball’s chance in Hades of happening, but I’d love to see the national writers stumble through their next columns after (deservedly) ripping the O’s all off-season.