CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that right-hander Jair Jurrjens has agreed to a one-year major league deal with the Orioles. He’ll receive a $1.5 million base salary and could max out at $4 million with incentives.
Jurrjens was connected to the Orioles last offseason in rumors involving a potential trade for center fielder Adam Jones, but his stock has cratered over the past year. The 26-year-old right-hander posted an ugly 6.89 ERA and 19/18 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings with the Braves last season and spent a good chunk of the year in the minors. He became a free agent after he was non-tendered in late October.
Jurrjens showed some promise over his first two seasons in Atlanta, but knee problems and diminished velocity have contributed to his decline. He averaged just 88.6 mph on his fastball in 2012, down from 91.9 back in 2008. Still, at just 26 years old, the Orioles are hopeful he can turn things around.
The Orioles previously expressed interest in bringing back left-hander Joe Saunders, but the addition of Jurrjens likely signals that they have moved on.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon is reportedly open to a contract extension with the Nationals, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said Sunday. Rendon told reporters that he didn’t know if agent Scott Boras would discuss an extension with the club, contrary to previous reports confirming the two had already started that conversation.
Rendon, 27, is coming off of his best career year to date. He finished the 2017 season batting .301/.403/.533 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI through 605 plate appearances, good enough to earn him sixth place in NL MVP voting. He made his third postseason appearance after helping Nationals through the National League Division Series, and contributed a pair of extra-base hits before the team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 5.
Rendon is still arbitration-eligible through 2019, but stands to receive a hefty payday once he enters free agency in 2020. While it stands to reason that the Nats would want to lock up a player who contributed a whopping 6.9 fWAR last year, making him the most valuable player on their roster, an extension appeals to Rendon as well. “Why not stay with one organization?” he said Sunday. The 2018 season will be his sixth with the team.