At age 27 Jair Jurrjens has had a roller coaster of a career and is one bad season away from never pitching in the MLB again. The Baltimore Orioles took a flyer on the starter and agreed to give him a minor-league deal worth $1.5M over just one season. However, if Jurrjens can turn it around in 2013 he will be eligible to make over $4M.
2012 was the worst season of Jurrjens’ career with the Atlanta Braves, as the injuries seemed to pile up at a ridiculous pace and he finished with a 6.89 ERA in just 11 big league starts. This demise was particularly strange given his All-Star campaign in 2011 where he finished with 13 wins and a 2.96 ERA.
Going from a top-notch starter to a minor-leaguer has to be difficult on Jurrjens, but the ball is in his court and he understands that, as he said “one of my main goals, was to try to get a team to give me a chance again.” The Orioles have given him that chance now, Buck Showalter and his staff will try to get every last drop out of the ailing Jurrjens.
If anyone can revive Jurrjens it’s the Orioles as they turned Jason Hammel into one of the American Leagues most feared pitchers after just one season with the club. Similar to Jurrjens, Hammel was dealt by the Colorado Rockies with the franchise thinking he could never reach the expectations set. 2012 was a career year for Hammel who finished with a 3.43 ERA and a 8-6 record.
Time will tell if the former Brave will make his way to the starting rotation but, given the team’s recent success with projects I believe Jurrjens is in a great place with the Orioles.