UPDATE 6:50pm: This deal is done, pending the physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
After an offseason full of Orioles rumors that were full of sound and fury and signified nothing, we may at last have reached a point where something is happening that breaks beyond the usual realm of "interest" and "looking at" and whatever else. MASN's Roch Kubatko shook things up with a rare scoop from an Orioles beat writer:
Source: #Orioles have made substantial progress on Jimenez and are working to finalize deal. Believed 4 years and around $48 mil.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 17, 2014
While nearly all of the rumors that have amounted to a hill of beans originated from either national reporters or reporters covering other teams, this is a local writer staking a claim on a major break. Indeed, "working to finalize deal" is pretty, well, final, and more than we have heard about just about anything the Orioles have done all season.
Signing Ubaldo Jimenez would mean the Orioles will sacrifice the #17 overall draft selection in June. They've already traded their competitive balance pick to get Bud Norris, so the first selection of the draft would be a second-rounder, #55 overall.
The 30-year-old Jimenez has pitched for the Rockies and Indians in an eight-year big league career, with his career highlight being a third-place finish in the NL Cy Young balloting in 2010. He held batters to a .239/.317/.367 slash line in the 2013 season, putting up a 3.30 ERA in 182.2 innings over 32 starts.
That's good, but is it $12 million a year for four years good? Orioles fans may soon be the ones most invested in finding that out.