Report: Jair Jurrjens signs with the Orioles

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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.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.