2/16/2013 2:45 P.M. ET
Jurrjens joins new teammates at O's camp
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jair Jurrjens walked into the Orioles' clubhouse on Saturday morning with his locker and uniform No. 48 already waiting for him. After an initial one-year deal with Baltimore on Jan. 25 was held up due to medical reasons, the two sides reached agreement on a one-year Minor League deal on Friday.
"It was a big league deal and they adjusted it because of the concern and made it a Minor League deal," said Jurrjens. "If I'm out there and can stay on the mound, I know what I can do. A lot of people know what I can do. I'm just going to come here and show everybody that I'm healthy and I can pitch again."
The concern was over Jurrjens' right knee, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the new deal has some concessions for the player, including an opt-out clause.
"We were trying to learn more about his knee and what it would take for him to pitch effectively," Duquette said of three-week lag between the first agreement and the actual deal. "That was a lot of the discussion -- and a lot of it was an educational process for the club. We referred it to a couple of doctors. We were also trying to learn the most effective way to help him regain his stature from earlier in his career. That took a little time."
Duquette said he never doubted that a deal would get done with Jurrjens, and the Orioles were intrigued by the free agent -- who was non-tendered by the Braves this winter -- given his age and prior track record when healthy.
"The kid's a winning pitcher, and we're going to see if we can get him back to the form that helped him win over 50 games," Duquette said. "We'll see if we can help him regain the form that made him a good pitcher. He's a sinkerballer, plus he has a good changeup. He's young, he's 27, so there's a chance he could learn how to pitch effectively and manage the situation with his right knee."
Jurrjens went 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA last year before Atlanta cut ties with him, and he joins an Orioles camp with a wealth of starting pitching depth. The Orioles have Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman who figure to have spots secured -- with Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter and Rule 5 Draft pick T.J. McFarland all options to round out the rotation. Top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will also get a good look, but they aren't expected to be part of the Opening Day club.
"It's a young club -- [and there are] a lot of guys on this team that are hungry to get to the playoffs again and win a ring," said Jurrjens on why he chose the Orioles. "Everybody plays this game to win a ring and go to the playoffs and play in October. Everybody wants to be the only teams playing in October. Seeing this team get to the playoffs last year, especially after a good run, it's like, 'Why not be around young guys who are hungry? I'm young and I'm hungry, too.' [I'm] just trying to prove something again."
Robinson wants O's to give him 'a long look'
SARASOTA, Fla.-- The Orioles had every player accounted for on Saturday morning for the first full-squad workout -- with infielder Yamaico Navarro in camp, as well as outfielder Trayvon Robinson, who cleared waivers on Friday.
"It was just a week of misery, just thinking about it," said Robinson about not knowing where he would end up after he was designated for assignment on Feb. 8. "At the end of the day, I just want to get on the field and play."
Robinson had originally planned on reporting on Tuesday, but wasn't allowed to be at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex premises while on waivers. He's been working out on his own instead. After clearing waivers and being outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, Robinson is no longer on the Orioles' 40-man roster and joins a crowded camp of outfielders -- including Nate McLouth, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis, Steve Pearce, Conor Jackson, Lew Ford, Chris Dickerson, Xavier Avery, L.J. Hoes and Jason Pridie.
"I didn't give up hope," Robinson said. "I can still make it to the big leagues, and it starts here -- it starts in Spring Training. I just want a long look, a long look to show what I can do at the big league level. I never really stayed in Spring Training long enough to even get somebody to look at me. Like last year, I was with the Mariners, I was playing good, [but] I just got sent down. I want a long look, I want somebody to look at me and see that what I did in the Minors, it's not a fluke. I just want to go out there and play."
The 25-year-old Robinson, who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on Nov. 20 for infielder Robert Andino, hit .221 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 46 big league games in 2012. Before being recalled by the Mariners, he hit .265 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs in 83 games for Triple-A Tacoma.
Robinson was sent to Seattle at the Trade Deadline in 2011 along with Chih-Hsien Chiang in a three-way swap that sent pitchers Erik Bedard and Josh Fields to the Red Sox. At the time, Robinson was a Dodgers prospect and he made his big league debut a few weeks later with the Mariners, hitting .210 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 44 games as a rookie.
Asked if he thought he'd have better luck in his third organization, Robinson wasn't sure.
"Maybe," Robinson said. "[I've] got a jersey on my back, so I'm not really complaining. I really think that I was real comfortable [with] the Dodgers and they flip-flopped [me] with the Mariners, and this [time with Baltimore] is a new start. Each day is a new day, you know. That's all that matters.
"At the end of the day, I just want to play baseball. It is what it is. Everything I've done, I've earned it. [I've] just got to earn my way back. It starts today."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.