Signing an oft-injured pitcher to a slightly over-priced, incentive-laden deal?

The Orioles have made it a side-business over the past few years, inking such pitchers as Justin Duchscherer, Dana Eveland, Randy Wolf, Josh Rupe and Jeremy Accardo.

Some of the deals have worked in the Orioles favor, such as the veteran Wolf, who tossed some valuable innings down the stretch of last year’s wild card run. Most, however, are like Duchscherer, who never even made it to the mound in a regular season game.

So, why is there excitement (albeit tempered) among O’s fans tonight as the team dives in with yet another wounded Bird, this time in the form of Jair Jurrjens?

Well, for starters, Jurrjens offers something none of those other names above did.


At 26, it’s reasonable to think that Jurrjens‘ best years are still ahead of him, and let’s be honest, he’s already had some pretty darn good ones. Fourteen wins, a 2.60 ERA and more than 200 innings in 2009. Thirteen victories and a 2.96 ERA in just 23 starts in 2011.

No current O’s starter can lay claim to a season as impressive as either of those campaigns.

Still, there has to be a reason the O’s were able to get the right-hander for so cheap, right? One and a half million for one year’s work, with the potential for $4 million with incentives. That’s a contract in line with a talented reliever, not a potential ace.

So, what to make of the Jurrjens‘ signing?

Let’s take a look at what the best and worst case scenarios could be for both the O’s and Jurrjens, as a member of a Baltimore franchise looking to make back-to-back trips to the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades.

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