One of the biggest free agent additions this off-season was when the Baltimore Orioles signed starting pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez. The veteran signed a lucrative four-year contract, worth $50 million and the massive contract certainly caught the attention of the entire fantasy baseball world.
Jimenez has garnished some serious media attention lately, but he is worth it?
Jimenez went 13-9 last year with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts with the Cleveland Indians. It was another underrated performance from the veteran hurler, who is now 82-75 throughout his career with a reasonably low 3.92 ERA.
Unfortunately, his stat lines over the last couple seasons have been less than fruitful. In 2012 with the Indians, Jimenez finished with an embarrassing 9-17 record to go along with a 5.40 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. The year before that, Jimenez posted a 4.68 ERA with 1.40 WHIP. These are absolutely horrendous fantasy numbers and somewhat deflated the veteran’s decent 2013 performance.
Jimenez will walk into a rotation where he can once again be the ace of a staff. He will step ahead of Baltimore hurlers Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Bud Norris. The team’s fifth starter will likely be Miguel Gonzalez, but he will basically be holding a spot until Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy steps into their natural role.
Baltimore is going to once again be in the playoff hunt in 2014 and they have no time to wait for aging pitchers to work on their pitches. So if Jimenez struggles at all, he will quickly find himself joining a rotation in the minors.Jimenez may be listed as the team’s number one, but the O’s will likely have a very short leash on him, which isn’t too promising for his long-term fantasy value.
Jimenez may be a popular topic around the web right now, but he will likely be drafted too high in 2014 drafts. If you need a decent SP3 or SP4, it would be better to look for someone that isn’t entering the twilight years of their career.