Today, as I predicted would happen in a previous post! That the Orioles would and indeed they did forfeit their first round, 17th overall draft pick. But the question then was "Will it be Santana or Jimenez? Well today we got our answer. Ubaldo Jimenez whose been on the free-agent market for wuite some time now has signed with the Orioles for four years and $50 million.
The Orioles were really in desperate need of a proven 5th starter. Even after signing Suk-min Yoon, there is no guarantee that he will produce in the majors even with his spotless 24-0 record last season with the Kia Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
The Orioles kind of alienated themselves from AJ Burnett by cancelling contracts and sparking bad blood with former Oakland Athletics' closer Grant Balfour and OF Tyler Colvin. They lost out on Arroyo to the Diamondbacks who would have been better for them than both Burnett and Jimenez who have draft picks tied to them while Burnett did not. Jimenez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts for Cleveland last season. He turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Indians, so Baltimore would have to forfeit its first-round draft pick to sign him.
As I blogged a few days ago it was time that the O's finally gave in and gave up that draft pick. They were out of options otherwise unless they signed Santana or Jimenez. They ultimately went with Jimenez ... It will be interesting to see where Santana will end up and who still needs a starter and is willing to give up their best draft pick ... my point in this blog was to talk about Jimenez! But I'm kinda off onto topic number #2 ....
Are free-agents who turn down a qualifying offer from their current team really truly free if they have a draft pick attached to their name??
I'd say hello no! But I will get to that in second. I mean yes, the Tanaka signing basically held everything in stasis for the entire month of January which I found disgusting and unfair! Then to be the last pitchers left because you are controlled by a draft pick and no one wants you? To me that means that even if you have played long enough and finally become a free agent but because you couldn't decide you have to feel dragged down. Because while you can blame Tanaka for January, both Ubaldo and Santana should have been signed by now ... I guess Mr. Jimenez has now.
(Image courtesy of Jaime Squire/Getty Images)
The Orioles needed a closer and a starter and probably would have done better without being overly picky about team physical. I would bet - if I actually had any money - that Grant Balfour has a great year for the Tampa Bay Rays. I don't know too much about Colvin except that he too got screwed by the Orioles over a physical. I personally think that the Orioles need to loosen the reins a bit and chill out or they wouldn't have had to spend $50 million and a first round draft pick to get Jimenez ... if he has a Cy Young year then he may be worth it but who sees that in the stars right now?
The question as of this moment is what teams is desperate for a starter and which teams are brave enough to give up that first round pick?? And how would you feel if you were Santana? Is there anyone in the hunt left for a starter?? Betcha he didnt think that it would be like this come mid February!! Can't wait to find out!!