The Orioles have apparently found the veteran pitcher they were looking for. He’s Jair Jurrjens, who’ll turn 27 on Tuesday.
Jurrjens, whose signing for $1.5 million was first reported by CBS’ Jon Heyman late Thursday night, was not offered a contract for this season by Atlanta. With incentives, Jurrjens could earn as much as $4 million in 2013.
In six major league seasons, the last five with the Braves, Jurrjens is 53-37 with a 3.62 ERA. Last year, Jurrjens, who was hampered by a strained groin, was just 3-4 with a 6.29 ERA.
Orioles executive vice p president of baseball operations Dan Duquette did not respond to a text message asking for confirmation of Jurrjens’ signing.
Jurrjens was an All-Star inv 2011 when he was 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA. He made $5.5 million in 2012.
His signing probably means the Orioles have finished their pursuit of Joe Saunders, who was with them late last season.
Jurrjens will compete for the fifth starter’s spot with Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson and perhaps T.J. McFarland and Brian Matusz, both of whom could go to the bullpen. If healthy, Tsuyoshi Wada, who had Tommy John surgery last May, should join the rotation.
With Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman, Arrieta, Britton, Hunter, Johnson, Matusz and Jurrjens, the Orioles will have 10 p players in camp who started games in the majors last season.
If Saunders doesn’t return, the Orioles still have pitchers who started 151 of their 162 games last season.