During Spring Training, the O's signed Ubaldo to the largest free agent contract (4 years, $50 million) they have ever given to a free agent pitcher. So needless to say, the team has some high expectations for him.
He has pitched in the Majors since last in the 2006 season and has played for the Rockies and Indians. He had an 82-75 record with an ERA just under 4.00 and has had some ups and downs in his career. In 2010 for the the Rockies, he made the All-Star team and finished third in Cy Young voting. Last season, he was one of the best pitchers in the game after the All-Star break. But once he was traded to the Indians, he posted an era over 5 over his first season and a half in the American League.
It is a bit of a mixed bag as far as his career has gone, but we can hope that the last half of no season was no fluke. In his first start for the O's, Ubaldo pitched six innings, gave up five hits, including two homers, three walks, and four earned runs while striking out six. Not exactly what you want from your $50 million man, but he still has plenty of time to turn things around. I wish him the best of luck, and I have a feeling the O's will need him to succeed to have a chance at the playoffs this season.
I was quite surprised at how good of a signed Ubaldo was during my Spring Training trip. Sadly enough, I just don't expect MLB veterans to be good signers at this point, and it was a pleasant surprise to see him signing as often as he did. He signed no fewer than three times that I saw, and possibly more. I can certainly say that I like that about him! Now if he can just succeed on the mound, things will be perfect!
I always love to get cards signed that depict the player signing autographs, so this OMC creation is perfect, and it even shows him in an orange uniform to boot!