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.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.