As one of the few Dutchie free agents, Jair Jurrjens has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Only four days after the World Baseball Classic, the pitcher from Curacao signed a deal with an MLB organization.
Jair Jurrjens was still without a club after he was released by the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of the CPBL. An injury cut his Asian career short. Jurrjens made 16 starts last season, going 6-7 with a 5.38 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He worked 90.1 innings, striking out 67 batters and walking 28.
The former All Star has played with various MLB organizations. He started his career with the Detroit Tigers before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves where he had his most successful years. With the Braves, he pitched 720 innings in which he posted a 50-36 record with a 3.58 ERA and a WHIP of 1.329. In the 2012 season, he started to struggle due to an injury and that signaled the demise of his career. After pitching two games with the Orioles in 2013 he moved to the Rockies in 2014 where he pitched two more games. In his first game with the Rockies, he was bothered by altitude sickness. Eventually the Rockies sent him down to their AAA affiliation in Colorado Springs, where he went 0-5 with a 4.60 ERA.
In the next two seasons, one with the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati) and the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) he struggled as well. After the 2015 season he was released by the Rockies.
Now, after years of struggling, it seems Jurrjens has straightened the ship as he performed rather well during this year’s World Baseball Classic. But even before the start of the WBC, Jurrjens had a tryout with the Kansas City Royals and more clubs reportedly had shown interest in him.
During the WBC, Jurrjens threw the second most innings of the tournament. In 11.1 innings he allowed three runs on twelve hits, walked four and struck out nine. He finished the tournament with one win and a 2.38 ERA. Perhaps his most impressive outing was in the semi-final vs Puerto Rico when he pitched 2.1 scoreless frames.
In the meantime, Jurrjens has reported with his new organization at the Camelback Ranch in Arizona. It is very likely that he will start the season in the minors, probably at AAA Oklahoma City.