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Two Orioles are MLB's least valuable at their positions, according to a statistical analysis

Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is the least valuable starting pitcher in the major leagues, according to analysis by the Sporting News.
Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is the least valuable starting pitcher in the major leagues, according to analysis by the Sporting News. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

After Thursday night's loss to the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles fell a season-worst five games below .500.

That wasn't the day's only development that stung.

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Two Orioles players were named Major League Baseball's "worst bang for the buck" at their respective positions, according to analysis published by Sporting News on Thursday.

The outlet considered FanGraphs’ wins above replacement (fWAR) and the average annual value (AAV) of each player’s contracts to determine who at every position had the best and worst production.

J.J. Hardy and Ubaldo Jiménez didn’t receive positive reviews.

Hardy is the game’s least valuable shortstop, according to the analysis, with a -0.7 fWAR. His AAV ($6,933,333) combined with his performance value (-$5,600,000) leave his net value at -$12,533,333.

In the final season of his three-year, $40 million contract, he's on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist and a cracked rib. He isn't expected to resume baseball activities until after the All-Star break.

But regardless of Hardy’s success in his return, the Orioles could be looking for a new starting shortstop next season because the veteran’s power numbers have fallen off — he hasn’t hit double-digit home runs since 2013 — and he had a career-low .211 batting average before suffering his injuries in mid-June.

Meanwhile, Jiménez has had a frustrating season, switching between the bullpen and starting rotation, and he’s the least valuable starting pitcher in the major leagues, according to the analysis.

His fWAR is -0.7 and performance value is -$5,600,000. By subtracting his $6,500,000 AAV, Jimenez’s production is worth -$12,100,000.

The right-hander is also in the final year of of his contract — a four-year, $50 million deal signed before the 2014 season — and it’s not likely he’ll again command such a market during free agency.

His current 6.64 ERA is the highest of his career, and he has allowed home runs on about 24 percent of his hits through 17 appearances — 12 starts — this season.

The Orioles, though, aren't the only ones dealing with poor contract value.

Former Oriole Matt Wieters ranks as the analysis’ worst catcher.

After eight years in Baltimore, Wieters signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Washington Nationals in February.

While he’s the lone player on the worst-value list with a positive fWAR (0.1) and performance value ($800,000), Wieters’ net value is -$4,660,000 as he entered Friday hitting .237 with seven home runs.

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