Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press
After a terrible 2012 season and a poor start to the 2013 season that had the San Francisco Giants contemplating a move to the bullpen for former ace Tim Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young winner was finally able to turn things around over the past four months of the season (4.00 ERA, 132.2 IP, 119 H, 45 BB, 125 K).
While he wasn't dominating like he once was, his level of consistency and his youth—he'll be 30 in June— convinced the team that he was worth the two-year, $35 million investment to keep him from bolting as a free agent.
In the case of Ubaldo Jimenez, he'd never reached Lincecum's level of dominance, but he had established that he was a very good front-line starting pitcher before struggling badly over a two-year period. That ended in late May of last season, when the right-hander pitched as well as he ever had throughout his career.
Over his last 23 starts, he posted a 2.41 ERA with 58 walks and 147 strikeouts over 138 innings pitched. But concerns about whether the 30-year-old could carry over that success to a multiyear contract has him unemployed with pitchers and catchers already reporting to camp around the league.
Even if he does get one more year than Lincecum's two-year deal, Jimenez is not likely to get more than $12-$13 million per season, which is probably half of what he's worth if he does continue pitching as he was when the 2013 season ended.