Jair Jurrjens Rumors

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:


Twins Made Offers To Saunders, Liriano

10:42am: In addition to the pitchers listed below, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) identifies Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Jair Jurrjens, and Carl Pavano as potential targets for the Twins. Pavano is said to be drawing interest from five teams, including the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

9:52am: As they look to shore up their starting rotation, the Twins have offers out to Joe Saunders and Francisco Liriano, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Twins are waiting to hear back from the two left-handers and may have offers out to other pitchers, says Neal.

Joe Blanton, Kevin Correia, Brett Myers, Vicente Padilla, Mike Pelfrey, and John Lannan were said to be among the Twins' pitching targets earlier this week.

According to Neal, there are seven other teams that also have interest in Liriano.


Latest From The NL Central

A few NL Central free agent targets were identified today, as the Brewers and Cubs are in on Jason Grilli among other relievers, the Pirates have expressed interest in John Lannan, and the Cardinals are in the mix for Scott Hairston.  More from the division…

Earlier updates:


East Notes: Wright, Dickey, Hamilton, Ichiro

Here's a look at the some of the news out of the AL and NL East:


Notable Non-Tendered Players

The non-tender deadline passed at midnight ET last night, and more than 30 new free agents hit the open market after their teams declined to make a contract offer. Our Non-Tender Tracker has the full list.

Most non-tendered players are fringe roster guys, but a few are established big leaguers who may have seen their performance slip or battled injury. In all cases, the team didn't consider him to be worth his expected salary in the upcoming season. Here's a look at some of this year's most notable non-tenders.

  • Jair Jurrjens – Still just 26, Jurrjens is one year removed from a 2.96 ERA in 152 innings. He's battled numerous injuries (including right knee surgery) and pitched so poorly earlier this year that he was sent to Triple-A. That said, the combination of age and past performance gives Jurrjens some of the highest upside on the free agent market.
  • Jeff Karstens – Karstens, 30, was limited to just 90 2/3 innings this year due to shoulder and hip problems, but he's pitched to a 3.59 ERA with a 1.7 BB/9 in 253 innings since the start of last year.
  • John Lannan – The Nationals didn't have a place for Lannan this year, so the 28-year-old spent most of the season in Triple-A despite a $5MM salary. The left-hander has thrown at least 180 innings in each of the last five seasons, so he adds a reliable southpaw to a free agent class surprisingly short on that type of pitcher.
  • Mark Reynolds – Power is hard to find these days, and the 29-year-old Reynolds hit 37 home runs just a year ago. He dipped to .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers this year, though he did produce a .258/.374/.525 line with 20 homers in 353 plate appearances from early-May through early-September. Although his best position is first base, a power-starved team could give Reynolds a look at third base given the shallow free agent pool.
  • Geovany Soto – The free agent catching market is weak, especially now that Russell Martin has signed with the Pirates, so the 29-year-old Soto could become a popular target in short order. He hit just .198/.270/.343 in 361 plate appearances this year, but a year ago he put up a respectable .228/.310/.411 line with 17 homers. Enough teams need catching help that Soto should have little trouble finding a new employer.
  • Brian Wilson – It's been two years since Wilson, 30, was truly dominant. He's coming off his second Tommy John surgery and posted a 3.11 ERA in 55 innings last season while his strikeout (8.8 K/9) and walk (5.1 BB/9) rates took big hits, but teams do love to roll the dice on formerly elite closers coming off down seasons and/or injury. Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle hears Wilson was upset after being non-tendered and has told people he will not re-sign with the Giants.
  • Other non-tendered players like Scott Atchison, Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Pelfrey (coming off Tommy John surgery), and Nate Schierholtz have proven useful in various roles and figure to be relatively popular targets as free agents.

Braves To Non-Tender Jurrjens, Moylan

The Braves will non-tender starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens and relief pitcher Peter Moylan, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). Both players will hit free agency.

Jurrjens started ten games for the Braves in 2012, posting a 6.89 ERA with 3.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 48 1/3 innings. However, he earned $5.5MM this past season and would have earned a similar amount in 2013 if the Braves had tendered him a contract.

Moylan, 33, appeared in just eight games in 2012. He spent much of the season recovering from rotator cuff surgery that took place last October.