Braves plan to non-tender Jair Jurrjens

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Jair Jurrjens was a popular trade target exactly one year ago, but now he’s days away from hitting the free agent market.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Braves plan to non-tender Jurrjens before Friday’s deadline. It doesn’t come a big surprise, as he posted a 6.89 ERA and 19/18 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings at the major league level this season and is set to get a raise from his $5.5 million salary in arbitration. It’s unlikely the Braves will be able to find any trade interest before Friday’s 11:59 p.m. ET non-tender deadline.

Jurrjens has dealt with knee issues over the past couple of years and his velocity has declined right along with it, but there will likely be plenty of teams lining up for the possibility of a rebound. The Curacao native doesn’t turn 27 years old until January.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.