SARASOTA, Fla. – After a winter in limbo, and three weeks waiting for his contract to be finalized, Jair Jurrjens reported to the Orioles camp. Four days after all the other pitchers reported, Jurrjens is meeting his new teammates.
“I’ve been throwing bullpens and I’m ready to go,” Jurrjens said.
Jurrjens wasn’t offered a contract by the Atlanta Braves last November, and the 27-year-old reportedly agreed on a contract with the team on Jan. 25, but concerns about his history of injuries delayed the signing until Friday night.
Originally, Jurrjens agreed to a major league deal, reportedly worth $1.5 million with $2.5 million in incentives. Now, he has a minor league deal.
“It took a little longer than I was suspecting it to take, but I’m just happy to be here now,” Jurrjens said.
Jurrjens said the contract was “a little bit tweaked, a small tweak. It’s not really a whole lot different.”
The Orioles were concerned about his history of knee and groin injuries, but happy to take a chance on a pitcher with a lifetime record of 53-37 with a 3.62 ERA.
“It was a big league deal and they adjusted it because of the concern and made it a minor league deal. If I'm out there and can stay on the mound,” Jurrjens said,
“I know what I can do. A lot of people know what I can do. I'm just going to come here and show everybody that I’m healthy and I can pitch again."
Last year, Jurrjens was 3-4 with a 6.29 ERA with the Braves. His strained groin truncated the season. It’s the knee that concerned the Orioles.
“The knee is fine. No setbacks this offseason. I was able to do everything I wanted to do. It felt good. I'm really happy with the way the offseason went. The physical was different and more stressful than I wanted it to be, but I feel good," Jurrjens said.
The native of Curacao was happy to be chosen by the Orioles.
“It's a young club. A lot of guys on this team that are hungry to get to the playoffs again and win a ring. Everybody plays this game to win a ring and go to the playoffs and play in October. Everybody wants to be the only teams playing in October. Seeing this team get to the playoffs last year, especially after a good run, it's like, why not?” Jurrjens said.