The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Jair Jurrjens, as first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Jurrjens will likely head to Triple-A Louisville with hopes of joining the team's major league rotation later in the season.
Jurrjens, 28, is now fully recovered after having knee surgery last fall. He drew some interest at different points during the offseason, but opted to wait until he felt like he was completely recovered before signing with a team.
Jurrjens spent most of 2013 with the Tigers' and Orioles' Triple-A affiliates, posting a 7-10 record and 4.57 ERA in 23 starts. He made two major league appearances (one start) with Baltimore, allowing four earned runs in 7.1 innings of work.
In parts of seven major league seasons with the Tigers (2007), Braves (2008-2012) and Orioles (2013), Jurrjens is the owner of a lifetime 53-37 record and 3.63 ERA in 128 appearances (126 starts). He was an NL All-Star in 2011, when he went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 23 starts for the Braves.
The Reds' rotation has been very good this season, placing fourth in the majors in ERA with a 3.02 mark due to strong performances from Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon. Nevertheless, adding veteran depth on minor league contracts is always valuable in advance of potential injuries or struggles that will emerge later in the season.