Jair Jurrjens Rumors

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:


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: