It seems like the Ubaldo Jimenez train has passed up on the Toronto Blue Jays as reports indicate that the 30-year-old starting pitcher has decided to sign with the Baltimore Orioles for four years and $48 million. That means just one thing for the Blue Jays: they must sign Ervin Santana.
According to reports, the race for Santana was narrowed down to two teams — the Orioles and Blue Jays. While the divisional rivals may be battling it out for the 31-year-old starter, the Cleveland Indians have also been rumored to be in the mix as they will now be looking for a starter now that Jimenez is gone.
Santana has been a bit more consistent in the past four years than Jimenez had been, posting ERAs of 3.92, 3.38, 5.16 and 3.24 in each of the past four years, respectively.
Since Jimenez has signed with the Orioles — the other team that was in the race for Santana — the Blue Jays should be hoping and praying to be the top destination spot for the nine-year vet.
While it looks like they may have to pay a heftier price than the Orioles paid for Jimenez, the Jays desperately need a starting pitcher after having one of the worst staffs in MLB a year ago and the best starter, Mark Buehrle, recorded just a 4.15 ERA.
Blue Jays fans are hoping and praying that they can snag the starting pitcher and solidify the rotation for the next couple of seasons instead of relying solely on an aging Buehrle to get them out of the AL East’s cellar.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.