It was shortly after 9:30 a.m. today when Ubaldo Jimenez walked into the media room, converted into a press conference, joined by agent Fern Cuza, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50-million contract with Baltimore, is one of the biggest signings in organizational history and Duquette started the press conference off with the following statement…
“The Orioles are proud to announce they’ve agreed to terms and signed right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year contract. Ubaldo is a proven, reliable, dependable starting pitcher. He has shown excellent on the pitching staffs that he has led in Colorado and Cleveland. He’s started over 30 games six years in a row. When he’s at the top of his game, he’s one of the top pitchers in baseball, and last year, in the second half of the season, he was one of the top pitchers in the American League. He led Cleveland to the playoffs. He won 19 games in 2010, 15 games in 2009 and 13 last year.
“Overall, if you take a look at his body of work, he’s one of the top 10 pitchers in the league over the course of his career. We’re happy to have his leadership on our pitching staff. He’s at the point of his career where he can provide leadership in innings and stability to our ballclub, and we’re glad to have him.”
Jimenez spoke after that, electing to say a few words before reporters jumped in with questions. Here is what he said…
“Good morning everyone. First I want to thank God for this opportunity today, my family who’s been with me through the good times and the tough times. The other thing is to thank the owners of the Baltimore Orioles, Peter Angelos and Dan Duquette and the manager, Buck for giving me the confidence. I know it took a lot for them to bring me here. I’m really excited to be here. The only way to pay them back is to go out every five days and get the best out of me and just be there for the team, giving me the opportunity. I’m very excited. We’re here for one thing, and that’s bringing a championship to the city of Baltimore. I want to thank everyone, starting with the owner, Dan and Buck, and everyone that made it possible for me to be here today. I want to do everything possible to go out there and compete and give the team a chance to win. I know it’s a tough division, but I like the challenge. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m very prepared for that. I’m excited to be in Baltimore, and I’m going to do everything possible to meet the challenge.”
On why he chose Baltimore, Jimenez said he had a feeling the first day he sat down with Duquette, special assistant Lee Thomas and pitching coach Dave Wallace.
On how he maintain mindset that made him so good 2nd half last year: “Those two years were a nightmare but they’re in the past. As a player, I just have to forget about it and I look forward to the future. I had a great second half last year and that’s what I’m going to take. I’m going to be prepared and I know that I have the confidence to go out there. And knowing that I’m healthy and I’m going to be able to compete every five days.”
On how difficult it was waiting that long to sign: “It is very difficult to wait. I know I’m not the only one who had headaches. Probably Dan and my agent. Those guys worked really hard. It wasn’t easy. It’s never easy to be waiting that long. I love baseball too much and I just want to be out there with my team. That’s what was on my mind. I just wanted an opportunity to get everything done. I don’t want to wait too long.”
On taking on a leadership role: “Yeah, that’s something I’ve been doing since I was in Colorado. I know I was young back then, but that’s what I put in my mind. I just want to go out there and compete and lead by example. It’s not that I’m going to be telling everyone what to do or anything like that. These guys are in the big leagues, they’ve been playing baseball for a long time. They really know what they need to do in order to compete. But for me, that’s something I put in my mind. I want to be out there, I want to take the ball every five days and give everything I’ve got and lead by example.”
Duquette on choosing Ubaldo over other free agents: “I think the most important thing about Ubaldo is that he goes to the post and he’s been a proven solid dependable pitcher. And if you look in the book, you can’t find very many pitchers to take over 30 starts six years in a row like he has.
In 2012, he had an injury to his ankle and he was not at the top of his game but he was out there pitching for the club and he didn’t get the kind of results he had gotten at other times in his career. But there was a reason for it. He had an issue with his ankle. But when you talk about leadership and the leadership of a pitching staff to me is the front end of the rotation starters who pitch innings and Ubaldo has been a workhorse over the course of his career. … I do want to thank Fernando Cuza and Diego Benz for their role in the process in helping bring Ubaldo to Baltimore. Fernando represented the Martinez brothers and he saw how Dave Wallace worked very efficiently with Ramon and Pedro Martinez, but particularly Ramon who is built very similar to Ubaldo and has a very similar delivery and an excellent change up. I think Fernando saw the opportunity for Ubaldo working with Dave making the same kind of adjustments that Ramon made later in his career. And Mr. Angelos deserves a lot of credit for investing in a pitcher on a four-year basis and the comfort level of Ubaldo going to the post for 30 starts a year had a lot to do with that.”
Jimenez on if the ankle was a big difference between ’12 and ’13: “That was part of it because I couldn’t repeat my mechanics and I couldn’t push off the mound, but something that I put in my mind was that like I had to be out there and I had to compete with whatever I had. In a way, that just messed up my mechanics. I wasn’t able to repeat it every time.”
Jimenez on the pressure of living up to that big contract: “I know it’s a lot of money, but it doesn’t matter how much money I got before. I just put enough pressure on me to go out there and do the best that I could every five days. But I know what you mean that’s definitely is a lot of money. I’m just going to go out there and show everything I have. I’m not going to be trying to do too much because then it’s going to mess everything up. I have to be who I am. I can’t be thinking about doing too much. I just have to go out there doing what I am.”
Shortly after the Orioles formally introduced new pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, executive vice president of baseball operations held court on a host of topics regarding the organization’s present and future. I’ll have a full story up on Orioles.com shortly, but here are the highlights…
On how long the offseason was for him given that Orioles didn’t make any major moves…
“It took a lot of patience by the fans and a lot of patience by us to add veteran starting pitchers, but this is a robust market for the veteran starting pitchers. Every starting pitcher that we were in on, there were four or five other clubs also in on that pitcher actively trying to sign him with good offers. So, we were glad to get a quality starting pitcher in Jimenez and add him to our ballclub at this stage of his career. We think he’ll be a pretty solid addition for us.”
On the chances of an additional hitter…
“I wouldn’t handicap that. I can tell you we’re happy we were able to sign Yoon. We’ll be able to take a look at him. His proven experience and pitching will be an asset to the team. He was the youngest starting pitcher available on the market and Jimenez was one of the most dependable starting pitchers on the market, so we think between the two of them we’ll get some quality innings for our pitching staff.”
“We can continue to look, from the players we have here in camp and a couple of players who are still on the market, see if there’s a fit.”
On how tough the offseason was for him…
“If we went out and we signed these players in October and November, people would be saying, ‘The Orioles are addressing their needs. They are being aggressive. They’re adding good starting pitching. They’re ramping up their team for a run at the title. Well, we didn’t sign them in October, but by waiting we got contracts with these players that are good for the market, that are good for the team. People understand that we are building our team and ramping it up to be a contending team this season.”
On how important the fourth year of Jimenez’s contract was…
“The fourth year was a big step for the Orioles, but in light of Ubaldo’s dependability and his age, I think it was the right recommendation to invest in that fourth year for Ubaldo. I think we’ll be able to get a couple of very good years from him over the course of the contract.”
On how tough it was to lose a Draft pick and pool money for Jimenez…
“You know, it’s always a consideration. Getting the dependable starting pitcher is very important. Really, what we’ve done is we traded our 35th pick for Norris, who won 10 games last year, and we gave up our first pick this year for Ubaldo, who won 13 games last year. We made that conscious choice to put those resources into our current team on the starting pitching staff and that’s what we felt we had to do to stabilize our team and be competitive in the AL East.”
On if the Orioles have a window of success…
“We want to have a good team every year. We have some good established players here that should be in the prime years of their careers, so I understand what people say, but the opportunity is there to have a contending team and we feel we have do this.”
On if this means the Orioles are sending the “win now” message to fans…
“We want to contend every year but we made some conscious choices to put the resources into our pitching staff for this year. We like the core of our team. We like our core players. They are at the stage in their careers where they should continue to have good, solid years and we hope we built our pitching staff properly.”
On if this changes things for a Hardy/Davis/Wieters extension(s)…
“We want to have a competitive team year-in and year out. And we are going to do whatever we have to do to accomplish that. As far as the core players, we’ve made it clear that we want to sign the core players, the good dependable players to stay with the club. With that being said, we have to stay within the resources of the team and the market.”
On if the 55th pick does not matter as much anymore…
“Our expansion of our scouting on the international market and the additions and signings of Carlos Diaz, the first baseman we picked up from from Mexico City and Jomar Reyes, the top Dominican third baseman that we signed. I think that helps us continue to build the quality of the talent depth within our Minor League system. So, there’s other avenues in signing and bringing players into the organization other than just the Draft. Now, do we want to be giving up all our Draft picks every year? No, that’s not something we want to be doing long-term. But we made a conscious choice to do that this year to put the resources into our pitching staff with the core. We thought that was the right choice to make. Are we going to continue to be aggressive on international scouting? Yes we are. And we are going to be aggressive not just on the amateur market but also on the professional market in bringing in players like [Suk-min] Yoon, who can help our club.”
On if that pick would specifically preclude them from making another move in free agency…
“Every draft pick has a specific value and we take into consideration that specific value before we part with the Draft pick. and we did that in this case and we would do that on a case-by-case basis.”
*New Oriole pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon each through the first bullpen in an Oriole uniform on Thursday morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
“Ubaldo especially was anxious to get out there,” manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez, who spent the early part of his day being introduced at a press conference. “He handled himself well didn’t he? Impressive.”
Showalter wasn’t sure what the next step was for either guy and would confer with pitching coach Dave Wallace before publicly announcing that although he seemed pretty sure that both Jimenez and Yoon wouldn’t just jump right in and throw to hitters the next time out.
*Showalter also noted that Thursday’s practice went particularly crisp and said it was one of the better ones he’s had as the Orioles manager. Could there be a little different vibe in the locker room with the recent additions of Yoon and Jimenez?
“Yeah, a little bit,” he said. “It’s something that you’ve been in locker rooms for a long time you know…you walk through locker rooms many times during a season, you know sometimes you got it going on. There’s just a feeling in there. I can’t [describe it].”
*Orioles EVP Dan Duquette also held court to talk about Jimenez, the team’s designated hitter situation and future extensions for other players and you can read that here.
*Guys who threw with hitters tracking today were: Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Webb, Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Brach, Tim Alderson, Nick Additon, Bud Norris, Evan Meek, Troy Patton, Zach Britton, T.J. McFarland, Brock Huntzinger and Tim Berry.
*Nick Markakis (pictured above) created a little stir today, walking in with a shaved head.
*Showalter was asked again today about Manny Machado’s rehab and while he didn’t say anything different, he did mention that they wouldn’t let Machado do any side-to-side stuff today. Machado has been cleared to do that on the field, but the O’s are moving cautiously with Machado who Showalter said “is worth waiting for.” The organization wants him to be 100 percent, whether that be Opening Day or a week or two after.
*In case you missed it yesterday, the “Two Minutes with…” daily spring story has moved to the main site on Orioles.com and featured Brian Matusz yesterday. New Oriole David Lough will be featured on the site later today.
The Two Minutes with series has moved to the main website at Orioles.com and you can read today’s entry with Brian Matusz here.
Below are two photos, courtesy of Matusz, that help explain one of his prized possessions.
The Orioles made one of the biggest moves in organizational history official on Wednesday afternoon, announcing a four-year, $50-million contract with right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Jimenez, the team designated right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks for assignment. There will be a press conference to formally unveil Jimenez, who has spent the past 2 1/2 seasons in Cleveland, on Thursday morning.
“He brings something we are in need of,” manager Buck Showalter said of Jimenez, who will slot right into the team’s rotation and make for tough competition for the fifth spot. “[He’s got] some good seasons behind him and ahead of him. He’s got a chance to be a quality pitcher for us for a long period of time. A lot of guys at this stage in their career start figuring it out and I’ve very confident in he and [pitching coach] Dave [Wallace]. I think he’s going to give us some quality innings.”
Jimenez is coming off a solid 2013 in which he went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts and he got better as the season went on. Jimenez posted a 1.82 ERA in the season’s second half, while striking out 10.7 hitters per nine innings. With Cleveland in a tight Wild Card race, Jimenez went 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in six September outings — all quality starts.
“I think we all are [happy for him],” Indians manager Terry Francona said of Jimenez’s deal with Baltimore. “The only time we won’t pull for him is when we’re playing against him. He’s a great kid and the way he persevered, and got on a run last year at the end of the year, really helped us try to get to where we wanted to go.”
Jimenez’s best season came in 2010, when he went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA for the Rockies and finished third overall in the National League Cy Young Award voting. After struggling through the first half of the ’11 season, Jimenez was dealt to the Indians at the non-waiver Trade Deadline for a package of prospects. He continued to struggle in Cleveland, posting a 5.10 ERA in the final two months of 2011, before leading the league in losses in ’12.
The success of the Orioles’ four-year pact will hinge on keeping Jimenez consistent as the right-hander was considered a risk, but still one of the better free agent arms on the market.
“It goes to show that it’s a good market and he’s a good player. He did great things,” Indians pitcher Justin Masterson said of Jimenez’s new contract. “I think for [Baltimore], they believe in what he did there in the second half, and he’s going to be able to continue to do that. I think that was the hardest thing for teams to do — with any player. Is this what we’re going to get or is it not? It takes someone to say, ‘All right. This is what we’re going to get.’ I thought he got a great deal for himself and I think in his mind he wanted the four years, and to know he’ll be in a spot.”
*Michael Gonzalez threw 25 pitches today and said his back felt pretty good, with the plan for him to throw a bullpen at 100 percent on Friday. He was followed by Kelvin De la Cruz, who has been slowed with a hamstring injury. Both guys pitched on the mound off to the side, with the strings at home plate with bullpen catcher Jett Ruiz (who is auditioning for the job) behind the plate.
*Henry Urrutia had a stomach issue that prevented him from joining the team on the field early on, but he was able to come out later and track pitches in the cage. Urrutia was a no-show during the team’s stretch, and came back out briefly to talk with outfield coach Wayne Kirby and the athletic trainers before going inside.
“Henry’s got to make sure he knows that if he’s not going to be on the field he needs to let somebody know, because he got the wrath of Kirb today,” Showalter said. “But you know what hit me about that, instead of flying off the handle, is this is his first camp. We forget, last year at this time [he wasn’t even in the country.] So, give him a mulligan.”
Urrutia is competing for a roster spot at designated hitter and he had a solid showing in the Arizona Fall League. Showalter said you can just see on his face how much more comfortable Urrutia is than a year ago.
“You can see it,” he said. “Henry likes baseball. He likes being out here and engaged. He likes being a part of the whole picture. He’d stay here all day if you let him. But I think that car gets him out of the parking lot, his Camaro. Black and orange…He’s real proud of that car.”
*Ubaldo Jimenez is here and finishing up his physical, with news on that coming shortly. He passed his physical with no issues, and the Orioles were just waiting to get approval on the corresponding 40-man roster move.
*Suk-min Yoon did not throw his first bullpen today, as scheduled, with pitching coach Dave Wallace opting to push it until Thursday to give Yoon a day to adjust. The new Oriole did take part in the team’s fielding practice and other drills (see below him covering home plate) and was joined by his agent, Tad Hun Yo, to serve as interpreter. Yoon’s interpreter for the season flies in tonight.
Yoon said he wasn’t nervous taking the field and that he has been used to longer workouts so he really liked Wednesday’s practice.
“This guy has been throwing,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Yoon. “He thinks he’s ready to go nine innings right now.”
Baseball is baseball. locker rooms for the most part are locker rooms. I was talking to him yesterday about the food. When i met with him i didn’t talk much baseball…fortunately his favorite place is In-N-Out Burger…he said he was hungry and went back in there [in the team cafeteria] and ate like a guy going to the electric chair.”
*The team will start biomechanical testing shortly, which they’ve done the past few years. Guys who have already done it will still go through the process as the team has compiled some impressive logs on their pitchers since bringing it on board. The project is run by direct of pitching development Rick Peterson.
*Nick Markakis is significantly bigger this spring, having added muscle in a pivotal year for the right fielder. Markakis is motivated, coming off the worst year of his career, and for the first time in a while, he was able to have a normal winter.
“I think he’s in a pretty good place in his life in a lot of ways,” Showalter said. “Health, you can see the way he’s moving around compared to the last couple springs when he was trying to not go too fast to make sure he’s ready for Opening Day.
“I think Nick is going to have a really good year. I do. I know you can tell he feels good about where he is physically. He’s going to have a good year.”
Will he stick with that hair, which has grown into some pretty substantial bushy locks?
“Nick shaved this morning and he’s got a three-day beard right now,” Showalter joked.
*Pitchers who threw with hitters tracking today were: Alfredo Aceves, Chris Tillman, Steve Johnson, Kevin Gausman, Chris Jones, Eduardo Rodriguez, Eddie Gamboa, Brian Matusz, Edgmer Escalona, Liam Hendriks, Josh Stinson, Mike Wright, Fabio Castillo.
Ryan Flaherty is competing for a second base job this spring and the 27-year-old is considered the leading candidate, provided that third baseman Manny Machado is ready to start the season. (If Machado is not, things could get interesting and the versatile Flaherty could be moved to third for a bit.)
A former Rule 5 Draft pick from the Cubs, Flaherty posted a .224/.293/.390 line including 10 homers and 27 RBIs in 85 games last season. Here’s a little bit more about the Maine native, who was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of Vanderbilt University…
Favorite food: Lobster
Favorite movie: The Lone Survivor. [Flaherty also read the book.]
Hidden talent: I played hockey, all the way up until high school. I was a right wing.
If I wasn’t a baseball player I’d be… A coach. [Flaherty’s dad, Ed, is the head baseball coach at the University of Southern Maine.]
Favorite offseason place: Somewhere where it’s warm. Just anywhere warm.
Prized possession: My X-box.
I’ll have a full story up on Orioles.com shortly on new pitcher Suk-min Yoon, but here is the transcription of the 20-minute press conference with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and agent Tad Hun Yo, who served as his interpreter.
Duquette opened with this statement…
“He was the youngest starting pitcher on the market this year, 27 years old. He’s a nine-year veteran of professional baseball in Korea.. He’s a three-time All-Star. He also won the Gold Glove. In 2011, he had the pitching Triple Crown. Lifetime, he’s got a 2.75 walk/strikeout ratio, but actually in the past three years, it’s 3.72/1, so he’s improved over the last three years, and that’s always a good standard if you will for players that are coming into major league baseball because now you know he has the pitches and he has good control of the pitches, and he can throw the ball where he wants to.”
“Upon his debut, he’ll be the first Korean pitcher for the O’s and wear No. 18, which I’m told is the ace number for international pitchers. This is part of our international recruiting strategy to be aggressive in all markets around the world and help the club be a perennial contender. The work that the club did with Chen, the lefty pitcher we picked up a couple of years ago from Taiwan via Japan, will help us in terms of acclimating Yoon to our environment and getting comfortable here in the States.”
Duquette on how he views Yoon…
“He’s done virtually job that you like in a pitching staff over the course of his career. He pitched as a starter and in relief in international competition. He pitched as the top pitcher in the league, and last year he was also a closer, so he has experience in each of those jobs, and that will be determined by how he pitches, and Buck and his coaches will decide where he pitches, based on how he pitches. If he pitches and gets them out, he’ll stay out there longer. But, he’s trained in every area is the point, and he’s signed to a contract that rewards him for an extra workload as a starter.”
Yoon on what he knows about the Orioles…
“I know about Cal Ripken, Jr. having the longest per game streak, continuously. I know about that…I’ve seen a lot of games. I see a lot of young talent on this team, and I’m glad to be part of the team that’s so young and talented.”
Yoon on his shoulder injury last year…
“I started my season late. I started pitching in May. The reason I was pitching out of the bullpen was the manager of the team felt the closers on the team weren’t doing their job and he wanted the best pitcher on the team to close out the games so that the team could win, so that was the main reason I threw out of the bullpen.”
Duquette on Yoon’s shoulder…
“He had tendinitis last year during the season, according to our reports, and he’s worked on strengthening his shoulder since he came to the States, and he’s been here since November.”
Yoon on the biggest adjustment:
“You have the most elite players here in the United States in MLB, so I have to adjust to that. Pitching to the top hitters in the world. I don’t feel that I’ll succumb to that type of pressure. I know how I can pitch.”
Showalter on Yoon’s role:
“I think until we get our arms around him and get him on the field and see where he is physically and get to know him, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We know he has the capability of both. We’re not going to preclude him from doing anything. He’s obviously here to contribute and the question is going to be when and how. That’s what we’re looking at. Where that comes into play, if you ask me that in about 10 days, I think we’ll have a real good idea. I want to leave us some wiggle room to adjust to him as opposed to him adjusting to us.”
Yoon on when he realized that he wanted to pitch in the United States…
“I grew up watching Chan Ho Park pitch in the U.S. and I realized that was the league I wanted to pitch in. I worked hard to get to that goal, and now that I’m here, I’m very excited. But I also want the season to start right away because I’m so excited.”
Duquette on the international signings:
“We’re making good progress on the international market. Of course, Chen made an immediate contribution to the major league team and we hope that Yoon will be able to help us during the year. Beyond that, we signed some really good young players. Fred (Ferreira) signed some good players in the international market. Miguel Gonzalez came to us from the international market, so we’re making good progress there.
“The thing I want to point out about Yoon is, Yoon is a free agent, OK? He fulfilled his obligation in the KBO and came here as a free agent, and he deserves a lot of credit for his determination to pitch here in the major leagues because he could have pitched in other leagues. The 2013 season was not one of the top seasons of his career, but he still maintained that he wanted to pitch in the big leagues. He could have went back to Korea and had a better year and come back to us a year after, but he wanted to pitch in the big leagues. I think that his desire to pitch in the big leagues, there’s a lot to be said for that and he should really be commended for that.”
Buck on Yoon fitting in…
“I have a lot of confidence in the culture of our guys. It starts with, you see the flags up there. I wanted our guys to understand that we’re not in this world alone. There are other people in this world who can play this game as well, if not better, than us. We embrace anybody who can help us win and we think he has a chance to do that. I think we, whether it’s Nick Markakis and his background in Greece, we all have some background and our guys go out of their way to make their path easier. It’s something we talk about a lot. You put yourself in Henry Urrutia’s shoes, coming out of Cuba and being stuck in Haiti, and the next thing you know, he’s here. We were talking about today, this is Henry’s first real foray into spring training, big league camp. So you’re sympathetic, but you’re not empathetic. You try to make the transition as fast as possible. I think the mistake you make is if you try to make them adjust to you instead of you adjusting to him. Shame on you. I’m real confident in our guys. He’s got a great personality. We’ve done our homework. I think it’s going to be pretty seamless, but at the same time, we’ll have our radar up about things we can do. We’ve been fortunate to have really good interpreters who have kept us ahead of the game. We want to make his path easier and I think our players are good at that.”
Yoon on why Baltimore…
“Obviously, I liked the terms of the contract. Dan was very gracious with the terms. And secondarily, the opportunity to start and try to compete for a starting position here with the Orioles.”
Yoon on the US…
“I’ve played here in the United States, including down in Port Charlotte and the last three seasons I’ve been in Surprise, Arizona with the Kia Tigers. I’ve been in the US a lot. And every time I’ve been in the US I don’t want to go back toKorea because the facilities here are so nice. And everything about US baseball seems so much more [inaudible.] So, I’m happy to be here and looking forward to the season.”
Duquette on the visa situation…
“We are still working on that. That’s in process. We think we have a solution to that where he can go to Canada and return. So, we are going to try to do it that way. But that’s still in process. We are hoping to get that resolved in the next couple weeks.”
Yoon on possibly being in the bullpen…
“I’m reflecting a lot on the Kia Tigers and when I was 18 years old and the uncertainty surrounding that entrance. I’m approaching that in the same manner. I want to work hard, look good in front of the manager and pitch well so i have an opportunity to start.”
Yoon on why he left money in Korea to come here…
“That’s true, I had better offers in Korea to play in the KBO and stay there. But ever since I could have been posted two years ago, and now that I’m a free agent now, my determination to pitch in the U.S. hasn’t changed. In the MLB. That was the ultimate decision-maker. It wasn’t necessarily about the money, it was about the opportunity to be competitive and play in the best League in the world.”
While the announcement was formally made last night, Suk-min Yoon worked out at the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium complex for the first time on Tuesday, doing some soft toss and conditioning work separate from the team’s stations.
The plan is for Yoon, who will hold his press conference later this afternoon, to work out with the team as part of Wednesday’s first full-squad workout.
*Shortly after the agreement was in place Monday night, new Oriole 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 huge boon for an organization that had been incredibly quiet during 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.
“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. 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.”
*The Orioles officially announced the signing of Suk-min Yoon yesterday as well and there will be a press conference today with Yoon at noon. More on Yoon here.
*Miguel Gonzalez will play catch again today, with the hope being that he can get up on the mound again tomorrow.
*There were no scheduled bullpens today and Dylan Bundy, who is rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery, also has the day off. Bundy will throw off flat ground on Wednesday and Friday, getting up to 150 feet.