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.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.