Orioles expected to announce signings of Jair Jurrjens and Mark Hendrickson next week

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According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, the Orioles are expected to announce the signings of Jair Jurrjens and Mark Hendrickson next week.

Jurrjens agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Orioles last week and could earn an additional $2.5 million with incentives. However, the deal has yet to be finalized because he needs to complete a physical.

As for Hendrickson, he’s getting a minor league deal with a spring training invite. The 38-year-old left-hander didn’t pitch professionally last season, but he’s hoping to make a comeback with a new sidearm delivery.

Despite the addition of Jurrjens, Kubatko hears that the Orioles still haven’t ruled out bringing back free agent left-hander Joe Saunders. It’s worth noting that Jurrjens has options remaining, so the Orioles could have him begin the season with Triple-A Norfolk.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.