Jair Jurrjens agreed to an incentive-laden one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Orioles two weeks ago and was in town to take his physical exam last week, but the two sides still haven’t officially announced the deal.
“We’re still trying to discuss some small stuff on the contract,” Jurrjens told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. “We are getting close, just some small details we want to make sure we go through before we sign.”
And what are those small details? According to Connolly “doctors are still vetting Jurrjens’ medical information” after injuries derailed the once-promising right-hander’s career in Atlanta and made him available for such a modest price tag.
Connolly spoke to a source who says “the drawn-out situation does not necessarily mean that Jurrjens’ deal is in jeopardy, but also wouldn’t rule out that possibility.” In other words, this could be a Mike Napoli-type situation where the physical exam revealed a more worrisome injury outlook than initially expected and the Orioles are re-working part of the contract to lessen their upfront commitment.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.