Ubaldo Jimenez makes rehab start, buys everyone steak and lobster

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Ubaldo Jimenez kicked off a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Single-A, tossing 4.2 innings of one-run ball as he comes back from a sprained ankle suffered when he stepped in a hole in a parking lot.

Jimenez allowed five hits and three walks, so it’s unclear if the Orioles will be impressed enough by the uneven outing to activate him from the disabled list yet after indicating initially that they might take their sweet time doing so.

If he does stay on a rehab stint for another start at least the Orioles’ minor leaguers will be well fed. After last night’s game Single-A right-hander Nigel Nootbaar–who was a 12th-round pick last year–tweeted about the clubhouse spread provided by Jimenez:

It’s customary for any veteran major leaguer visiting the minors to spring for a food upgrade in the clubhouse and Jimenez apparently did his part and then some in the first season of a four-year, $50 million deal. So they’d probably like for him to stick around in Single-A.

Madison Bumgarner is reportedly asking for a nine-figure deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.

Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.

Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.

The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.