Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz To Make Things Interesting
I touched on the Orioles off-season last week. I wasn’t impressed, but I didn’t think their team was any worse than they were last year. Well, the Orioles finally put on their big boy pants and made their run. They signed Ubaldo Jimanez to the richest contract every given to an Oriole pitcher, 4 years, $50 million. Then they went out and picked up Nelson Cruz on a 1 year, $8 million dollar deal. Both instantly help this team as I think both will have good years. The Cruz deal has to be considered a steal since there were reports of him wanting 5 years and $75 million at the beginning of the off-season. If Cruz hits, the O’s can extend him a qualifying offer and pick up a draft pick. If he doesn’t produce, the O’s don’t need to worry about him after this year. The Jimenez deal is ehh to me. He’s a good pitcher but he’s not an ace. The problem is, the fans are going to expect him to be that ace because the Orioles just went out and spent a whole bunch of money on him. If Jimenez makes his 27+ starts and doesn’t pitch terribly, then it’s a win for them in year one. If he’s still good in years 2-4 when the youngsters are perhaps pitching along side of him, then the whole contract looks great.
These two deals make the Orioles better instantly. I still don’t think they make the playoffs, but they should at least be in it until the fall.