The Atlanta Braves have made it clear that they are willing to move some of their young pitching this winter in order to bolster their offense. As a result, Jair Jurrjens has found his name included in multiple trade rumors this offseason. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Jurrjens has “drawn some interest” from the Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rockies, Tigers, Rangers and others.
Atlanta acquired Jurrjens in October of 2007 in the trade that sent Edgar Renteria to the Detroit Tigers. Since joining the Braves, Jurrjens has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 3.34 and 1.291 over his 671 2/3 innings pitched.
Still, Heyman says teams seem to covet fellow available starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez more than they do Jurrjens this offseason. For that reason, the Braves may have to wait for a resolution in the Gonzalez sweepstakes before they are able to clearly define the market for Jurrjens.
With numbers like the ones mentioned above, it’s fair to wonder why teams wouldn’t be jumping at the chance to acquire Jurrjens. While he’s shown glimpses of brilliance, teams are also concerned regarding Jurrjens’ durability issues.
You have to look back no further than the 2011 season to uncover the story of Jurrjens.
Through May, Jurrjens was pitching like one of the game’s best. The right-hander maintained an ERA of 1.51 over his first nine starts spanning 65 2/3 innings, recording 38 strikeouts to go with only 11 free passes.
But Jurrjens’ ERA rose to 2.38 through July, and the 25-year-old faced a rocky August in which he surrendered 16 earned runs over his 23 1/3 innings of work. While his ERA still hadn’t reached 3.00, Jurrjens missed the remainder of the season due to injury.
While he sports an impressive career ERA of 3.40, Jurrjens has only surpassed the 200 innings threshold once.
The Braves most serious trade talks involving Jurrjens appear to have taken place with the Orioles. Atlanta reportedly offered the Orioles Jurrjens, Martin Prado and a pitching prospect for center fielder Adam Jones. The Orioles turned down the offer, but the reports show Atlanta is willing to deal Jurrjens in order to acquire offense.
Beyond the Orioles, the Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rockies and Rangers have also expressed interest in Jurrjens this offseason.
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