Yankees and Braves Trade Rumors Swirling


The Yankees offseason rumor mill has officially started. John Harper, of the New York Daily News, wrote an article about the Braves being interested in Eduardo Nunez, and that they were willing to give up Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens had an excellent year last year going 13-6, with a 2.96 ERA, and a 1.22 WHIP. However, his year ended after experiencing pain in his surgically repaired right knee. According to Wallace Matthews, the Yankees are concerned about that knee. Nunez had a nice first full year with the Yankees hitting .265, with 5 HRs, 30 RBI’s, 22 SBs, and a .698 OPS.  I would be extremely hesitant to trade for Jurrjens and I hope Brian Cashman is smart enough not to.

Jair Jurrjens is not the #2 starter that the Braves will try to sell the Yankees on. They would ask for a lot more than just Nunez for Jurrjens and it would not be worth it. The regular numbers look nice, but they can be a little misleading.  The things that really concern me are his K/9, BB/9, his FB % and GB %, and his fastball velocity.  Here is a chart of those stats over the last three years for Jurrjens.

Year K/9 BB/9

FB %

GB% Fastball MPH
2009 6.36 3.14 39.1 42.9 91.2
2010 6.65 3.25 41.9 39.9 91.1
2011 5.33 2.61 36.6 42.0 89.1

A number 2 starter absolutely cannot only average about only 3 more strikeouts than walks.  That is an egregious number that cannot be overstated. If you are not going to strikeout people, you cannot walk the amount of people that Jurrjens does. He has been able to get away with it in the NL, but in the AL East it will not happen that way. Jurrjens also allows way too many fly balls to pitch at Yankee stadium effectively. Having your ground ball and fly ball percentage almost even at Yankee Stadium, and not striking anybody out is a recipe for disaster at Yankee Stadium. Javier Vazquez rings a bell in that regard. Also, the declining fastball is a concern. Jurrjens never threw hard to begin with and last year his average fastball velocity dipped into the 80’s.  His strikeout numbers will not get any better with that trend.  I know I made it seem like Jurrjens is an awful pitcher but he actually has had a very successful career so far, so you have to give him credit. However, I just do not think the numbers would translate over to the AL East.  A declining fastball, too many fly balls, too few strikeouts, and too many walks just will not work out in the toughest division in baseball.

2008 13 10 3.68 31 188.1 188 70 139 115 1.370 3.3 6.6
2009 14 10 2.60 34 215.0 186 75 152 159 1.214 3.1 6.4
2010 7 6 4.64 20 116.1 120 42 86 84 1.393 3.2 6.7
2011 13 6 2.96 23 152.0 142 44 90 128 1.224 2.6 5.3

I would also be very hesitant to trade for Jurrjens because I am reluctant to give up Eduardo Nunez. I really liked the tools and potential he showed last year.  He obviously has a long way to go in the field, but he has the range, speed, and arm strength to greatly improve.  He showed he has pop in his bat and I think he will eventually turn into one of the better hitting shortstops in MLB. I believe he can be the next shortstop after Derek Jeter. Time will tell on that though and I would like to see more from him.  Nunez would be just the start in a Jurrjens deal because the Braves think very highly of Jurrjens. Some have suggested Nick Swisher would be a fit and I would be highly against that as well. I also would not include Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, or Dellin Betances in a deal for Jurrjens.

Image Detail

While Jurrjens has been good for the Braves he is just not a fit for the Yankees.  You always have to weary of NL pitchers going to the AL East, and really look hard to see if they will translate over.  Jurrjens just does not fit the bill.  I trust that Brian Cashman will see these same issues that I do. Jurrjens would pitch more like Javier Vazquez for the Yankees than like CC Sabathia.

About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on November 22, 2011, in Hot Stove, Personal Opinion, Statistical Analysis and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Good evening Matthew B…..”Yankee and Braves Trade Rumors Swirling”…you really think so? This one had it’s five minutes, and faded fast on 11/19. When your post ends with, “Jurrjens just does not fit the bill”…..how can this be swirling? Sounds like circling the drain,…to this fan. Take care.

    • Well Patrick, he’s simply stating fact. The Braves have been rumored to have interest in Nunez, and are willing to deal Jurrjens. Matthew only wrote about his thoughts on these rumors. Maybe “swirling” isn’t the most appropriate term, but…

      • Hi, Michael. Was only trying to get a dialogue going with Matthew B. I don’t know your guys/gals well…. I am trying to fit in. You may be a bit over protective, of your commenter. Please, read your above. I’m sure he can address my post.

        • My bad – sorry, just a misunderstanding.

          • Forgive me, but at times I feel like I’m walking on eggs here, at YFU. I don”t understand your format…….ie: I ask a question of Matthew B, you comment on what Matthew B. was thinking……………………..AND NOW THAT POST IS GONE? How can this be? We post, right or wrong, and it stays up? …YES?..There are many things I wish I could of taken back, but those were the breaks.

        • Patrick, sent you an email.

  2. Nice job Matthew.

    In addition to what you wrote above, Jurrjens is a big NO for me, because of one pretty important reason: Why would the Braves, a contender, be SO willing to deal a very talented, 25 year old pitcher? Yes, they have SP talent coming up through the system, but something is still fishy to me. And it probably has to do with the knee issue.

    An easy pass.

  3. nice article matthew good points. at first i wanted Jurrjens but lately i’m backing off of that.

    • Yeah, with a brief look at his stats, you’ll see a nice ERA, but when you look at others, like GB%, K/9, etc., in addition to the knee question mark, he is not a great option for the Yanks.

  4. Patrick I just dont see why its a big issue. Maybe swirling is a little strong but I was just trying to create an enticing headline. Just dont want to argue semantics. Feel free to give me your opinion on Jurrjens though and would love to talk to you about it.

    • Matthew B. Good evening. I think I need to explain last nights comment. The “swirling” was never a big issue, if anything, at this point, a non issue. My post created a misunderstanding here, that has since been put to rest. Matthew, it had nothing to do with your work. A bit of a rocky start, but I look forward to speaking with you again. Have read your comments, and enjoyed them. Things happen. Take care.

  5. Pretty amazing how he has kept his ERA so low when you look at his other numbers. He has to be doing it by smoke and mirrors and the other shoe should drop soon.

    • yeah you would figure that would have to catch up sooner than later.

      • It would definitely catch up with him in the AL East, at Yankee Stadium. He’s a fly-ball pitcher in a pitcher’s ballpark in Atlanta. That helps his ERA quite a lot.

        His FIP and xFIP are a accurate description of how Jurrjens is not as good as his ERA suggests.

        2009 – ERA: 2.60 / FIP: 3.68 / xFIP: 4.28
        2010 – ERA: 4.64 / FIP: 4.19 / xFIP: 4.29
        2011 – ERA: 2.96 / FIP: 3.99 / xFIP: 4.23

  6. Excellent analysis Matthew, couldn’t agree with you more.

  7. I agree Matthew….I want no part of Jair Jurrjens. We already have a similar pitcher in Phil Hughes that is giving us headaches.

    Yanks don’t need to bring in any bottom of the rotation starters. They already have plenty of candidates for those spots and can always bring back Freddy G on a 1 yr deal if absolutely needed.

    They need to add quality to the rotation at the top. Esecially if Nunez is included. No matter anyones opinion of Nunez, it is clear that many teams view him as a solid MLB starting SS and those are not plentiful in the league. if Nunez was to start everyday for a team he could easily hit .275 with 10 HRs and 35 SBs. Those are excellent #s for a SS and would make it worth dealing with his growing pains defensively that are bound to improve with him playing 1 position everyday.

    Only thing I would have done differently Matt B is add some analysis of Martin Prado. The Braves have made it clear he is on the block and he would fill an interesting niche on the Yanks as a guy who could play 50-60 games at 3B, 50 in LF/RF and fill in at 2B & 1B as needed also. if anyone remembers Tony Phillips with Detroit, he was a great asset. Prado could fill that role with the Yanks. Kinda like Randy Velarde in the early 90s.

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