The Detroit Tigers announced today that they have signed former organizational prospect Jair Jurrjens to a minor league contract. When Tigers fans think of Jurrjens, they think of one thing. Jason Beck brings up the topic:
Jurrjens will forever be remembered as the prospect who became an All-Star after the Tigers traded him to Atlanta in a package for shortstop Edgar Renteria the day after the 2007 World Series. His career has been in a freefall after that Midsummer Classic appearance in 2011.
Fans were livid about the trade after Renteria (and the team as a whole) fizzled in 2008, but Jurrjens’ secondary statistics,while still good overall, didn’t support the dominating ERA numbers that he put up for a couple of years in Atlanta. He only has one career season with an xFIP below 4.20. Never a high strikeout guy, Jair relied upon low BABIPs and low home run rates to sustain success.
Jurrjens is still just 27 years old, so he has plenty of time to get his career back on track, but his (already low) strikeout rate had been tailing off the last few years, and his average fastball velocity has been below 90 mph for a few years now.
He’ll likely be heading to Toledo to serve as organizational depth and provide the club with a solid emergency option should they need to fill a spot start or two down the stretch.