Ubaldo Jimenez close to signing 4-year deal with Orioles, per report

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Jimenez is reportedly nearing a deal worth $48 million with Baltimore. The O's must not be too concerned with his sudden drop in velocity.

Ubaldo Jimenez is close to signing a four-year deal with the Orioles worth $48 million, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Other media outlets have confirmed the two sides are moving towards a deal. If the contract is signed, then Baltimore will surrender its first-round pick in this year's draft.

Jimenez, 30, is coming off a strong year with the Indians after a miserable 2012. He posted a 13-9 record with a 3.30 ERA over 182⅔ innings in 2013, which was an improvement over his 5.40 ERA in the previous campaign. Jimenez, who has posted solid strikeout numbers throughout his career, set a career-high last year by fanning 9.56 batters per nine innings, though he also walked nearly four batters per nine innings. He was worth 2.7 bWAR last season, making him a reliable, if erratic, No. 2 starter for the Indians.

The biggest concern with the right-handed starter is a drop in his velocity. After routinely throwing in the mid- to high-90s when he debuted with the Rockies, Jimenez's fastball was clocked at 91.7 mph on average in 2013. He also saw the velocity on his slider and changeup dip below his career averages. Despite the durability concerns, Jimenez has made at least 31 starts in each season since 2008.

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