In response to MadMc44's comment:
In response to 56redsox's comment:
In response to MadMc44's comment:
We have too many medical concerns to risk signing Jerrgens who is a free agent. There must be a reason his name hasn't been mentioned. I think if you signed him to a minor league contract for $2 M loaded with incentives with an invite to ST.
44 Dont Think He Is A FA, Had Some Issues Past Season,
56---I'm pretty sure he is. Maybe there is a clause in there--I don't know...
There aren't many 26-year-old pitchers who have two sub-3.00 ERA seasons under their belts that get left out to dry on the free-agent market. In fact, for a pitcher like that to even reach free agency is rare, but that's where we are with right-hander Jair Jurrjens.
Jurrjens finished third in the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year race to catcher Geovany Soto and first baseman Joey Votto after going 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 31 starts for the Atlanta Braves. He then enjoyed an even better sequel, going 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 34 starts during the 2009 season.
After a mediocre 2010 performance that saw him go 7-6 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, Jurrjens rebounded in 2011 with a 13-6 record, 2.96 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 23 starts. Heading into 2012, it seemed like the mediocrity might have been an outlier for the talented Brave.
From 2008 to 2010, Jurrjens was barely striking out batters at an acceptable rate, never enjoying a year with more than 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He coupled that with walking more than three batters per nine innings in each year. That's not a recipe for success, and it looked like his peripherals caught up with him in 2010, when he saw a spike in home-run rate and no gains on any other fronts.
Jurrjens managed to get his walk rate in check in 2011 while bringing his home run rate back down, but alarmingly, his strikeout rate fell as well, with the Braves pitcher striking out just 5.3 batters per nine innings.
Things got worse in 2012. Jurrjens made 10 starts and one relief appearance, but only pitched 48 1/3 innings, lasting longer than five innings just three times. After four sub-par starts from Jurrjens, the Braves optioned him to the minor leagues.
Upon being recalled, Jurrjens pitched well in four starts heading into the All-Star break, allowing just six earned runs in 25 1/3 innings (good for a 2.13 ERA). It didn't last, as he surrendered a whopping 14 earned runs over 5 2/3 innings in his next two starts, his last two with the Braves before the team decided not to tender him a contract this offseason.
Jurrjens' task is now to convince teams that he's still a viable rotation candidate despite a low strikeout rate and the general ugliness of his 2012 stat line. He has to deal with his low-90s fastball losing a couple ticks over the last two years -- his average fastball was 88.6 mph, according to FanGraphs.
But teams always need pitching. The Royals are rumored to have some level of interest. Once the free-agent pitching dominoes fall where they will, a few other teams could leap into the Jurrjens market. However, he'll likely have to settle for a meager offer, even at his young age.
And that's too bad for a guy who looked so good, so young.
Potential suitors: Royals, Twins, Pirates, Orioles
Long shots: Angels, Dodgers, Red Sox, Marlins
My Bad 44......