Jair Jurrjens agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Orioles last month, but an official announcement was delayed after he took a pre-signing physical. Apparently the Orioles saw something they were concerned about, as the club just announced that the deal has been adjusted to a minor league contract with a spring training invite.
Jurrjens really struggled with the Braves last season, posting a 6.89 ERA and 19/18 K/BB ratio over just 48 1/3 innings. His velocity has slipped in recent years, which could be related to his lingering knee issues. Seeing how the terms of his deal with the Orioles have changed, it’s clear that those concerns aren’t in the rear view mirror.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.