Jair Jurrjens, some loser, and some Reds
With the GM meetings in Milwaukee this week there has been a goodly amount of chatter on the wires. Aside from the incredible, astonishing, unbelievable, breath-taking, earth-rattling, bone-shivering, blood-chilling revelation that Joey Votto isn't going anywhere, the most interesting Reds-related rumor involves Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens. It really should come as no surprise though, as the Reds are known to be looking for pitching and the Braves are known to have made Jurrjens available. It's kizmet, right?
Well, here's what we know. The Braves are asking for quite a lot for their young hurler, as Jon Heyman reports they are seeking a "Zack Greinke-like deal" in return for him. Pardon the editorial scoff, but pffffff cough cough cough. Comparing Jurrjens to Greinke is quite a stretch, as Greinke had won a Cy Young award, posting a 9 WAR season and two other 5+ WAR seasons before being traded. Jurrjens, on the other hand, is coming off two straight injury-shortened seasons, posting a roughly league-average FIP when healthy. He'll likely make $5 mil next year, his second go-around in arbitration.
FanGraphs thinks he's not worth a top prospect. Citing the injury history and an unsettling drop in velocity, they advise prospective suitors to proceed with caution. All this put together, I'm not terribly thrilled by Jurrjens. Sure, he was a great pitcher in '08 and '09, but I doubt he's still that pitcher. The Braves may already know this, which would give them good reason to try and pawn him off. Of course, their stated reason for shopping him is that they have an embarrassing number of stars-in-waiting ready to pitch in the big league rotation and they just need room for them all (jerks). But one has to wonder. Anyway, if he had pitched this past year like he had in '09 I'd be more likely to give up some of our best prospects for him. If he had, he'd look an awful lot like Johnny Cueto, actually. If he looked like Johnny Cueto I'd be really interested in bringing him on board. But he doesn't. So I'm not.
Of course, the Braves could just be posturing with all the "Greinke-like deal" spiel. So let's suppose they actually are open to a realistic deal for him. What would that look like? Despite the Hamlet-level tragedy that was their September collapse, the Braves are a good looking team with pieces in place to make a World Series run next year. They are in search for a left fielder though, as Martin Prado didn't play so well there last year and is on the trade block. Kevin Mitchell is Batman floated the idea of offering Chris Heisey as the main piece in a Jurrjens swap. I really don't think that would be enough though. I could see them asking for Billy Hamilton as well, which is a bridge too far.
So what do you think? Can the Reds put together a package to land Jurrjens? What would it look like? Should they even bother? Also, don't forget to make your roster predictions for the off-season by tomorrow night. You could win some crap or something.