Last week manager Fredi Gonzalez revealed that the Braves hadn’t even given any thought to recalling Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A, saying: “Without making this sound cruel, he’s a minor league player right now.”
At the time Jurrjens had put together three straight impressive outings, but that all unraveled last night as he got rocked for 11 runs in 4.2 innings, serving up two homers among 12 total hits.
Jurrjens was an All-Star last season before injuries derailed him and is currently being paid $5.5 million to pitch in the minors, but even as Mike Minor gets knocked around in the Braves’ rotation it’s clear he won’t be back in Atlanta any time soon.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.