The Orioles had spoken with San Diego about a proposed Ubaldo Jimenez for Melvin Upton, Jr. swap. It didn’t happen.
According to a report from FOXsports.com, the Padres have agreed to send the outfielder to the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor league prospect.
Upton is batting .256 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs while Jimenez, who is scheduled to come off the paternity list is 5-9 with a 7.38 ERA.
The Orioles basically wanted to swap contracts. Jimenez who the Orioles signed to a four-year, $50 million contract in Feb. 2014, is signed through next season.
Upton, who is also signed through next year is owed about 40 percent of his $15,450,000 salary this year and $16,450,000 next year.
On Friday, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said that the team was focusing on acquiring starting pitching, and not outfield help, but a few hours later, reports circulated that the team was making a play for Upton.
With Joey Rickard sidelined for several weeks, an Upton acquisition could have made sense for this year—and next.
Mark Trumbo is unsigned for next year, and the Orioles could have used Upton as a possible replacement in 2017.
Meanwhile, the search for pitching continues. Andrew Cashner (San Diego), Jeremy Hellickson (Philadelphia), Rich Hill (Oakland) and Hector Santiago (Los Angeles Angels) are possible targets.
The Orioles don’t have many top shelf pitching prospects that may entice other teams, and they’re competing against many others.
There was an indication from Buck Showalter on Monday that the deal wasn’t likely to occur when he said he was contemplating giving Jimenez another start, perhaps Thursday in Minnesota.
While the Orioles would like to be rid of Jimenez’s onerous deal, it’s unlikely they’ll find a team willing to take on that salary by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver trades.