SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles’ quest to upgrade their starting rotation didn’t stop with today’s signing of Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon.
According to multiple industry sources, the Orioles have made “substantial progress” in negotiations with free agent right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and are working to finalize an agreement. It could get done later tonight.
The deal is believed to be four years for approximately $48 million, according to sources.
The Orioles are willing to sacrifice their first pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the 17th overall selection, in exchange for signing Jimenez.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette also has been talking to the representative for free agent right-hander Ervin Santana. The Blue Jays have also been negotiating with Jimenez and Santana.
Duquette made offers to A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo, who signed with the Phillies and Diamondbacks, respectively.
Jimenez, 30, is more willing to pitch in the American League. He’s spent the past three seasons with the Indians, going 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts in 2013.
Update: The Orioles have reached agreement with Jimenez pending a physical, according to industry sources.
FOXSports.com first confirmed that an agreement was reached tonight.
The Orioles will be shattering their trend of not handing out four-year deals to free agent pitchers outside the organization. And they will lose their first-round and competitive balance picks in the 2014 draft.
To get a deal done, the Orioles had to go to a fourth year. There were other American League East teams in the mix, and the Orioles were determined finalize it tonight.
Jimenez is 82-75 with a 3.92 ERA in eight major league seasons. He posted ERAs of 5.10 and 5.40 with the Indians before lowering it substantially last season.
The Orioles could slot him directly behind Chris Tillman in the rotation.
This is the largest deal that the Orioles have given a free agent since signing Miguel Tejada for $72 million over six years back in December 2003.
Update II: CBSSports.com reports that the deal is worth $50 million over four years.