Jair Jurrjens Rumors

AL East Notes: Cherington, Lind, Jurrjens

Here's the latest news and stories making headlines around the AL East…

  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says that he does not expect Jacoby Ellsbury contract situation to be a distraction at any point this season, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Ellsbury enters his walk year looking to rebound from injuries that have plagued him in two of the past three seasons.
  • Adam Lind discusses how last year's Blue Jays coaching staff played a role in negatively impacting his numbers over the course of the season, writes Gregor Chisolm of MLB.com. "This year the coaches will be given the freedom to do whatever they want. They have the trust of Gibby so he can just manage and sometimes the type of personalities we had on our staff last year, they micromanaged a lot and sometimes that can affect the way we play and the way we coach."
  • Jair Jurrjens may have suffered financial setback this offseason, but the veteran right-hander remains confident he can be the pitcher the Orioles were looking for when they first offered him a big league contract, says Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun"If I'm out there and can stay on the mound, I know what I can do. A lot of people know what I can do. I'm just going to come here and show everybody that i'm healthy and I can pitch again."

Orioles Sign Jair Jurrjens

SATURDAY, 12:10pm: The contract includes an opt-out clause, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

FRIDAY, 10:50pm: The Orioles have officially signed Jair Jurrjens to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to a team report. Terms of the deal are not yet known for the Boras Corporation client.

The Orioles first came to an agreement with Jurrjens on a contract back in late January in which he would received $1.5MM on a Major League deal with incentives potentially pushing the figure to $4MM. The situation changed, however, when Baltimore did not like the findings of his physical, which led to discussion over a minor league deal instead, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (via Twitter).

Orioles GM Dan Duquette sent Kubatko and other writers a text to provide his sentiments on the deal. "Jair Jurrjens has a good track record and is still young. We hope he can regain the form which made him an All-Star in 2011."

Jurrjens, 27, posted a 6.89 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 48.1 innings during the 2012 season which led to his non-tendering by the Braves. The right-hander is expected to report to camp on Saturday, writes Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).


East Notes: Red Sox, Duquette, Escobar, LaRoche

John Lackey's new slim physique marks one of the many signs that the Red Sox organization has taken a step toward rebuilding a positive culture within the clubhouse, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub req'd). The team has added new faces on the field (Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, among others) as well as brought familiar staff members home (former pitching coach John Farrell returns to Boston as the squad's manager) for what should be a vastly different season than years past. Here's the rest of the news and stories making headlines in both of the East Divisions.

  • Jair Jurrjens' contract status continues to remain the status quo according to Orioles GM Dan Duquette, writes Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com (on Twitter). "It's time to get it resolved," said Duquette as Jurrjens looks to rebound from a difficult 2012 season where he posted a 6.89 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 48.1 innings. 
  • Yunel Escobar's arrival with the Rays organization has manager Joe Maddon excited about what the shortstop can provide the team this season, says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter). After a suspension marred his final month with the Blue Jays, Escobar was dealt to the Marlins in the November mega deal before ending up in St. Petersburg.  
  • Adam LaRoche says the new free agent compensation system has hurt players like him and is currently keeping Kyle Lohse from finding an acceptable deal, writes Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com (Twitter links). "It shows how important it is to get rid of that rule," LaRoche said to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "I don't know if that was something the union granted, or they overlooked and didn't realize it could backfire the way it did, or if they were willing to take that risk. In talking with the union a little bit, I think they would love to take that back." For a more in-depth look, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examines the system and explains why a qualifying offer can be a hindrance for a high-quality, but not elite, free agent.


Quick Hits: Freese, Podsednik, Jurrjens, Goldschmidt

Yesterday, the Cardinals avoided arbitration with David Freese on a one-year, $3.15MM deal, which took care of all of their unsigned arbitration eligible players.  However, the third baseman says that he wants to be in St. Louis for life, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  "If a long-term deal is going to happen I know for a fact that I have to do some things. I have to be a leader. I have to do what I do on the field. I have do the things expected of me," Freese said.  Here's more from around baseball..

  • Teams are interested in Scott Podsednik but he likely will need to wait for one that wants more help, suffers an injury, or misses out on a free agent like Michael Bourn, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Earlier today, we learned that the Twins haven't ruled out making a play for the outfielder.
  • Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette says he hopes to have the Jair Jurrjens situation resolved by the start of spring training, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.  The Orioles have yet to finalize their one-year, $1.5MM agreement with the pitcher and are believed to be concerned about his knee.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers says he approached Paul Goldschmidt about a long-term deal but the 25-year-old wanted to wait before talking about it, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.  Goldschmidt won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2014 season and isn't scheduled to hit free agency until the winter following the 2017 season.

Orioles Notes: Saunders, Jurrjens, Johnson

The Mariners agreed to sign Joe Saunders yesterday, which means the left-hander won’t be returning to Baltimore. Saunders and the Orioles had mutual interest in a new deal, but never reached an agreement. Here are the latest Orioles-related notes from Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun

  • It appears the Orioles offered Saunders a one-year deal, Encina writes. Saunders said he wanted to return to Baltimore and the Orioles maintained interest in re-signing him throughout the winter.
  • The Orioles have yet to finalize their one-year, $1.5MM agreement with Jair Jurrjens, and there’s a chance the deal will fall through. The Orioles were still receiving medical evaluations on Jurrjens as of last night, Encina reports. It’s becoming unclear whether the deal will be completed and it doesn’t seem to be headed in a positive direction. Orioles executives have long-standing concerns about Jurrjens’ health.
  • It’s possible the Orioles could offer Jim Johnson a two-year deal to cover his final arbitration seasons. However, it seems more likely that the sides will settle on a one-year contract. Johnson filed for $7.1MM in arbitration with the Orioles offering $5.7MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The Orioles have two other unsigned arb eligible players: Jason Hammel and Darren O’Day.

AL East Notes: Rays, Scott, Orioles, Jurrjens

Here's a look at news out of the American League East..

  • Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter) hears that Luke Scott can earn up to $750K in performance bonuses through his one-year deal with the Rays.  The incentive is tied to plate appearances, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The designated hitter will make a base salary of $2.75MM in 2013 and will look to stay healthy after a pair of trips to the DL limited him to 96 games last season.
  • The Orioles still haven't finalized their deal with Jair Jurrjens as team doctors are still going over the information from his Monday physical, Connolly tweets.  The pitcher says that the two sides are close to finalizing the pact and and says there's just some "small stuff" to iron out (Twitter link).  Jurrjens agreed to a one-year, $1.5MM Major League contract last month that balloon to as much as $4MM with incentives.
  • Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com says it's possible that Orioles Executive Vice President Dan Duquette is stockpiling pitching depth in order to deal for a middle-of-the-order bat.  Even if the O's use the surplus to bolster their offense, Ghiroli expects them to still hang on to extra pitching as insurance.

Orioles Agree To Sign Jair Jurrjens

The Orioles have agreed to sign Jair Jurrjens to a one-year, $1.5MM Major League contract that could be worth as much as $4MM with incentives, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.  Jurrjens is represented by the Boras Corporation.

Jurrjens, who turns 27 next week, was non-tendered by the Braves following a rough 2012 season that saw him post a 6.89 ERA, a 13.4 H/9, 19 strikeouts and 18 walks in over 48 1/3 innings.  The right-hander is under team control through the 2014 season and is just one year removed from an All-Star season in 2011, though he was plagued with injuries and a loss of form in the second half of that season.

The O's were rumored to be looking to add some veteran depth (such as Joe Saunders) to their young rotation and the Jurrjens signing could prove to be a coup if he regains his health and old form.  The Pirates, Twins, Rockies and Royals had all shown interest in Jurrjens this offseason.


Quick Hits: Giants, Byrd, Reyes, Jurrjens

As arbitration eligible players around MLB agree to terms with their respective teams, be sure to use MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. The tool allows users to search in many ways, including by team and by service time. Here are the latest links from around MLB…

  • The Giants' multiyear deals with Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro are among five free agent contracts that could backfire, ESPN.com's Jim Bowden writes.
  • The Giants would offer Brian Wilson a big league contract, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The Mets are also in on Wilson, who was non-tendered by San Francisco at the end of November.
  • Doug Lara, Marlon Byrd's personal hitting coach, told Puro Beisbol last week that the outfielder is in discussions with the Marlins. Byrd has been playing for the Tomateros de Culiacán this winter (translation via Nick Collias). 
  • Dennys Reyes told Puro Beisbol that he has offers from the Dodgers, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Among the three, Reyes said, "I'd like to return to the Dodgers," the team he debuted with as 20-year-old in 1997 (translation via Nick Collias). 
  • Free agent right-hander Jair Jurrjens told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he feels good physically and has begun throwing bullpens (Twitter link).

Rosenthal On Padres, Orioles, Rockies, Phillies

The Orioles showed serious interest in Justin Upton before talks with the Diamondbacks sputtered, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night. Here are some more of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB…

  • Rosenthal hears from one executive who expects the Padres to make another significant move. However, the Padres like their group of young starting pitchers and aren’t inclined to make a strong play for one of the remaining free agent starters. San Diego could still trade for a pitcher such as Rick Porcello, Luke Hochevar or Aaron Harang.
  • Talks about a deal involving Upton and Chase Headley didn’t progress, Rosenthal reports.
  • The Orioles continue seeking starting pitching and Joe Saunders remains a target. The Orioles also checked in on Porcello, according to Rosenthal.
  • Though the Orioles spoke with Lance Berkman before he signed with the Rangers, they weren’t interested in spending big for the switch-hitting DH.
  • Jeff Karstens, Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook and Jair Jurrjens are among the possibilities the Rockies are considering. The Rockies wouldn’t offer all of those pitchers Major League deals, however.
  • Rosenthal suggests free agent reliever Rafael Soriano could be a longshot for the Rockies. Colorado would have to surrender its second round draft pick to sign the Scott Boras client.
  • The Phillies continue seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder, Rosenthal reports. They’re still considering free agent Scott Hairston and trade candidates Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells. It’s possible the Phillies will go with platoons in both corner outfield positions.

Latest On The Royals

The latest on the Royals, who continue to seek a front-rotation starting pitcher…

  • The Royals are exploring a group of free agent starters that includes Brett Myers, Kevin Correia, and Jair Jurrjens, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, which could be a backup plan if they fail to acquire a No. 1.  Dutton has heard differently, saying he's been told the Royals have no intention for now of pursuing any pitcher who wouldn't front their rotation.
  • The Royals' payroll pinch is tighter than initially believed, explains Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  In fact, the team appears to already be over budget.  Regarding the Shields talks, a Royals official told Dutton, "It’s not like we’re going to bend over backward,” one club official said. “We’re not going to do that. We want to make a trade to get another starter, be it Shields or someone else, but we don’t feel we have to make a trade."  The Rays are likely to wait to move Shields until Zack Greinke signs, writes Dutton.

Earlier updates: