Perhaps today is the day when the Orioles officially announce the signing of Jair Jurrjens. The agreement on a one-year contract came back on Jan. 24, and exactly two weeks later, the deal hasn’t yet been announced.
Jurrjens has had some injuries in the last two years, to his groin, and most important to his right knee, and the Orioles are being extra careful to make sure there’s no permanent damage to the knee.
If the Orioles do sign Jurrjens, someone has to come off the 40-man roster. Two weeks ago, it would have been one of the catchers on the roster, but on Tuesday, the teamed signed Russ Canzler and removed Luis Martinez from the 40-man.
Martinez, a catcher, was picked up on waivers from Texas on Jan. 4.
If he clears waivers, he could still come to spring training with the team.
If Jurrjens signs, there are three possibilities now. Luis Exposito, another catcher who spent some time with the Orioles last season could be removed. It’s likely he’d clear waivers and come back to the team, too. That’s a more likely move if Martinez clears waivers. As long as Martinez is in camp, it doesn’t matter if there are only two catchers on the 40-man roster.
Another move would be to designate Canzler for assignment. It’s a popular move; everybody’s doing it. Canzler has been with four teams this off-season, and he could pass through waivers this time.
The most likely move would be to designate Danny Valencia for assignment. Was it purely coincidental that Canzler, who hits lefties well was picked up the same day a report linking Valencia with a Miami clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to players?
There’s no evidence that Valencia used PEDs. He says he’s never used them, and that he’s passed every drug test administered.
However, Valencia’s best talent is an ability to hit left-handers well. So does Canzler. His best position is third base, That’s where Manny Machado plays.
The guess is that if Jurrjens’ signing is announced today or Friday that Valencia is the player removed from the roster.