Jair Jurrjens chooses free agency over Triple-A with Orioles

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Designated for assignment by the Orioles last week, Jair Jurrjens passed through waivers unclaimed and rejected an assignment to Triple-A.

That means the 27-year-old right-hander is a free agent again after settling for a minor-league contract on the open market this offseason.

Jurrjens was an All-Star in 2011, but that seems like decades ago considering how quickly his career has unraveled due to injuries and poor pitching since then. He made 16 starts at Triple-A for the Orioles, posting a 4.18 ERA and 52/24 K/BB ratio in 95 innings.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.