The Los Angeles Angels have been a busy team this offseason by making several free agent signings and trades to help improve their pitching staff, but there may be one more move that would help that cause, and it would be to sign free agent starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
The 29-year-old right-hander had a solid 2013 season with the Cleveland Indians as he had a 3.30 ERA with 13-9 record, 194 strikeouts in 182.2 innings pitched. This also included finishing the year with an impressive six starts in September where he posted a 1.09 ERA with a 4-0 record, 51 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched.
Jimenez would help solidify the starting rotation as the No.3 pitcher behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, and help be a mentor to the team’s two new young arms in Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. Along with that, there is also the possibility that he could recapture his 2010 regular season form which saw him post a 2.88 ERA with a 19-8 record, 1.15 WHIP and 214 strikeouts in 221.2 innings pitched.
The addition of Jimenez would also not require the Halos to resort to putting Joe Blanton back into the starting rotation, where he struggled mightily last season. He posted a 6.04 ERA with a 2-14 record, 180 hits allowed in 132.2 innings pitched and a .317 opponent’s batting average against him when he was on the mound.
Although the signing of Jimenez would cost the Angels draft picks, replacing Jason Vargas with some stability would likely yield positive results, and it’d be a risk worth taking. The Halos’ pitching staff was one of their major problems last season, and inking Jimenez to a deal would bring a veteran starting pitcher who could help improve their starting pitching drastically.