Ubaldo reports to camp, physical pending
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Shortly after his agreement was in place Monday night, new Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez drove from Miami to his new spring home in Sarasota, Fla., reporting to the Ed Smith Stadium complex early Tuesday morning to start the process of getting his physical.
Hours after announcing the three-year deal with Suk-min Yoon, Baltimore locked up Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million pact that is expected to be announced later this week. A club official said the team would "be lucky" to have the physical results announced on Wednesday, so it will likely come after that.
Still, Jimenez is a boon for an organization that had been mostly quiet during the Hot Stove season. With Yoon in the fold and Jimenez, who is coming a season in which he went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts for the Indians, the Orioles' roster is beginning to take shape.
"There always a form of competition," manager Buck Showalter said of what the Jimenez addition does to the rotation competition. "There are spots and a ranking, so to speak. They're just competitive people. That's what they do. So many things can change between now and the end of spring. You pitch well, and its nothing but good for you. It can make for a good problem. [That's] what we hope happens."
Jimenez's presence puts more emphasis on the fifth-starter competition, adding depth to the club's rotation behind Chris Tillman. Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez are also locks, with the fifth spot up for grabs and Bud Norris the leading candidate. Zach Britton, who is out of options, is also competing for a spot, and Jimenez's presence makes it more difficult for guys like Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz, Kevin Gausman and Yoon to crack the rotation.
"I've been looking for [a dynamic change in the clubhouse]," Showalter said. "As a matter of fact, I was looking for it a little bit today and everybody was engaged. … I'm not expecting anyone to walk through the door and say, 'What you do that for?' What if two guys got hurt or Dan [Duquette] came in here with a great trade and two guys get traded. Just keep pitching. They really control it. They really do. Either they'll make themselves very available for [us] or be attractive for someone else. Other teams know who is out of options."
Showalter said he has been picking the brains of people who have been around Jimenez, and plenty of the Orioles have familiarity in facing him.
"Can't wait to see him out there, so he can do what he knows how to do best," said Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, who played with Jimenez in a Double-A All-Star Game back in 2007.
"[He's] quiet, kind of like me." Gonzalez said. "He reminds me of me. Having seen him, not having talked to him for a while, I think he's pretty good. I like him, so I'm pretty sure all these guys will like him as well."