Ubaldo Jimenez is not having a particularly good season. His ERA is a high 6.59 and he has just a 2-6 record. In May, his ERA was 8.28 and had just one start when he allowed fewer than 5 runs. As a result, people are asking what to do with Ubaldo Jimenez (http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/05/31/steve-davis-what-to-do-with-ubaldo-jimenez/) and whether the Orioles should just get rid of him, send him to the bullpen (http://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/orioles-ubaldo-jimenez-job-security-shaky/) or see if he’s willing to accept a minor-league assignment (http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/schmuck-blog/bal-it-probably-seems-obvious-to-fans-what-the-orioles-should-do-about-ubaldo-jimenez-but-it-s-not-20160529-story.html). All of these begs the question if the Orioles wouldn’t have been better off signing a different pitcher in free agency that signed a similar contract. Has Jimenez been a disappointment?
Using MLBTRs transaction tracker (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/transactiontracker), I found all starting pitchers that signed deals between 3 and 5 years and received between $10 and $15 million per year from 2011 to the present. There were thirteen starting pitchers that met this requirement including Ubaldo. When I looked at their numbers, I found something interesting.
With a 4.74 ERA, Ubaldo has one of the worst ERAs in the sample, ranking 10th out of 13. But he’s also averaging roughly 1.54 fWAR per year, which puts him 6th out of 13. Depending on how…