The Orioles have released the details of the new deal with Ubaldo Jimenez, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. The 30-year-old right hander reportedly passed his physical, making the deal official.
Even with Jimenez on board, the O's have room remaining in their budget if they are going to end up around the $100 million figure cited by general manager Dan Duquette, and while the team might be focused on making a push for the 2014 season, they have some long-term question marks they could choose to address as well.
Jimenez will aid the Orioles in putting together a competitive, sturdy rotation -- he hasn't missed a start in his eight-year career.
The fact that the team had to forfeit their first-round draft choice could make it easier for them to consider adding another qualified free agent. Doing so would only cost them the 55th overall pick, and as the season nears, players like Nelson Cruz and Ervin Santana could be had for much less than they would have commanded earlier this winter.
However, Baltimore also has a few key players that are approaching free agency. Most notably Chris Davis and Matt Wieters. When the team decided to move Jim Johnson to the Athletics, the trade was reported as an effort to clear cap space, which certainly could lead to the club bringing in another big name from the open market -- like Santana. Though, on the other hand, losing Davis and Wieters in the near future would be considerable blows to an organization that can't exactly spend their way to the top of the always super-competitive AL East.
A long-term deal for Manny Machado would also be an excellent investment, depending on the parameters. As the Braves have shown numerous times this offseason, many young players are open to extension that buy out their arbitration years, and teams are often able to buy out a year of free agency as well. Machado would likely command a huge investment, but a cost-controlled extension might be preferable to the chance that he becomes a superstar and begins earning huge annual raises in front of the panel.
Baltimore also has several young arms to consider for extensions in the near future. Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy lead a group of promising young starters that could become fixtures in the O's rotation over the next few seasons.
Extensions wouldn't cost as much in the short-term, but Jimenez' deal will pay him $13 million in 2016 and $13.5 million in 2017. Another contract with commitments like that could limit Baltimore's ability to extend some of their core players.