After an offseason dominated by trade rumors (the first suggestion on Google for him is “Jair Jurrjens trade”) it looks like Jurrjens will stay with the Braves after they didn’t get the offers they were expecting. It is hard to say how much of this is a value disconnect and how much is due to Jurrjens’ injuries; I suspect the latter is more important but I wouldn’t be surprised if many teams think he’s not as good as his ERAs.
His ERAs are very good; a career 3.40 works out to a 120 ERA+, and last year’s 2.90 would have been good for ninth in the league had he qualified. For most of the first half of the season, he ranked as one of the best pitchers in the league, if not the best, with a 1.87 ERA through July 7, and while he made the All-Star team he probably should have started. After the break, he did not pitch well and then went on the DL with pain in his right knee, which had already preempted the start of his season. He tried to come back but didn’t pitch well, or at all after mid-August. After being a workhorse his first two years as a Brave, Jair has made only 43 starts in the last two seasons combined. The only good news is that a knee injury seems like something that should be fixable.
The real elephant in the room is Jurrjens’ strikeout rate. Even when he was pitching well last year it was only about six per nine, and for the season it was a ghastly 5.3. Jurrjens has survived by limiting home runs and by making improvements in his walk rate, but 5.3 is getting really low. I don’t know of a righthanded pitcher in the last thirty years who’s been able to pitch at an all-star level with a strikeout rate like that; few have been able to even survive. And basically, that’s why it was a good idea to shop Jurrjens.