MLB Trade Scenarios: 5 Teams Who Should Pounce on Jair Jurrjens
Even though the Braves couldn't find a trade partner during the offseason, everyone knows that things have a tendency to heat up when spring training hits.
During the first half of the 2011 season, Jurrjens was all but unstoppable. His 1.87 ERA and 12-3 record was near the top of the majors. When he is healthy, Jurrjens proved he can be one of the best pitchers in the league.
But, is he healthy?
Jurrjens did not return to the mound after the knee injury he suffered during the month of August. The Braves attempted to trade Jurrjens numerous times in recent months, but they could not prove that the right-hander was 100 percent healthy.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports recently reported that if Jurrjens has a successful spring training, the Braves may attempt to trade him once again, and they may very well succeed. Jurrjens will be a free agent after the 2013 season, and the Braves may want to clear some space in their rotation for the young arms of Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.
Here are five teams that could make a run at Jurrjens in the coming months.
5. Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto's rotation is pretty young and strong with Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Cecil, McGowan, Drabek, and Carreno battling for the five rotation spots. While Jurrjens would no doubt help the Jays if he were healthy, they may not need that help in 2012.
While Kelly Johnson is a promising second baseman, there is no doubt that Martin Prado would be an upgrade at second base, especially with his bat. Prado would obviously be the center of this deal, but due to the fact that he has already signed a new deal with the Braves, it is unlikely that a deal involving him will be made during 2012.
This is the least likely scenario involving Jurrjens, but one can never tell what will happen during spring training in Major League Baseball.
4. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies were supposedly dangling the services of outfielder Seth Smith, since the club signed former Minnesota Twin Michael Cuddyer to man Smith's position. However, the Rockies may have to throw in more than Smith in order to bring Jurrjens to Coors Field.
There is no doubt that Jurrjens could immediately help the young and promising starting rotation of the Rockies. Chacin, Guthrie, Pomeranz, Nicasio, and Moscoso are the probable starting pitchers for the 2012 season, but not one of them had an ERA lower than 3.38 last season.
Jurrjens' 2.96 ERA during 2012, including his incredible first-half ERA of 1.87, could help the Rockies immensely in the tough NL East.
3. Baltimore Orioles
The Braves were already rumored to have made an offer to the Orioles for Jurrjens, Prado and one of their top pitching prospects for Adam Jones. This was back in the middle of December, and the Orioles decided to say no. The Orioles supposedly countered with the same offer, except they wanted two of the Braves' top pitching prospects, and the Braves said no.
While talks have since died down immensely, one could argue that they will heat back up again when spring training starts. There is always a common ground when it comes to a trade, and the Braves and Orioles could find one if Jurrjens has a successful spring training.
With the loss of Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado, Baltimore desperately needs help in their starting rotation in order to climb out of the AL East cellar. The Orioles will be examining all of their pitchers to decide who will make the rotation come April, and the top names in that discussion include Tommy Hunter, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz. While all of these pitchers have tremendous promise, none of them have put together anything special.
There is absolutely no doubt that Jurrjens' abilities would immediately help the Orioles' rotation. Do not be surprised to hear the Jurrjens rumors start up once again in a few weeks, and the Orioles could be in the center of those rumors.
2. Boston Red Sox
It is no secret that the Red Sox need a starter, and Jair Jurrjens may be their man.
Even though Jon Heyman of CBS reported that the Red Sox had little to no interest in the right-hander a couple months ago, that could all change if Jurrjens has a successful stint during spring training.
@JonHeymanCBS: #redsox are not in on jurrjens. players for jair include orioles, blue jays, rockies and tigers
It is hard to argue that the Red Sox need to do something to bolster their rotation in order to keep pace with the Yankees and the Rays in the AL East. Boston's No. 1 through No. 3 should be solid during 2012, with Beckett, Lester and Buchholz.
However, the Red Sox may be counting on the young Daniel Bard, who has never started a major-league game in his career. Even if Bard earns the fourth spot in the rotation, the fifth spot remains a mystery.
Jurrjens would be definitely be an upgrade to Boston's rotation and would most assuredly give them some depth, provided he truly is healthy.
It is hard to determine if the Red Sox would gamble on Jurrjens' health, but one can never tell.
1. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers were mentioned in numerous rumors months ago that were centered around Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado. The talks died down after the Braves were unwilling to take on the services of Delmon Young.
However, with the recent surprise signing of first baseman Prince Fielder, it is hard to assume anything anymore. The Tigers may be willing to reexamine a trade during spring training if Jurrjens looks healthy.
Not only would this fill the missing rotation spot for the Tigers, but they may be able to swing a trade for Martin Prado in order to fill the gaping hole at second base. While Illitch has proved that he is not afraid to make a blockbuster deal, this trade would likely involve two or more of the Tigers' top prospects—namely Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, Casey Crosby, Adam Wilk or Nick Castellanos.
While this type of deal remains unlikely, Tigers fans should not put anything past Dave Dombrowski. Keep on the lookout for a big deal this spring, and that deal may include Jair Jurrjens.