11/30/12 6:45 PM ET
Braves non-tender pitchers Jurrjens, Moylan
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
As expected, Jurrjens and fellow righty Peter Moylan were the Braves' only arbitration-eligible players who were not tendered a contract before Friday's 11:59 p.m. ET deadline. This makes both of them free agents.
While there is no doubt that Jurrjens will be pitching elsewhere next year, there is still a chance the Braves could opt to bring Moylan back on a Minor League contract, similar to the one he signed while recovering from right shoulder surgery last year.
But there is no guarantee that Moylan will return. He has missed most of the past two seasons while recovering from surgical procedures on his back and shoulder.
Moylan has spent portions of the past six seasons as a valuable sidearm reliever for the Braves. Next year, the Braves could lean more heavily on Cory Gearrin, another right-handed sidearm reliever who made some strides this past season.
Jurrjens led the Braves with 13 wins during his impressive 2008 rookie season and then posted a 2.60 ERA while winning 14 of his 34 starts in 2009. Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction until Jurrjens injured his shoulder while making an awkward throw during a fielding drill before the start of Spring Training in 2010.
After struggling through much of the 2010 season, Jurrjens missed the final two weeks and the National League Division Series against the Giants because of torn meniscus in his right knee. The ailment was surgically repaired in November and he missed just the first two weeks of the 2011 season.
Though his velocity was down, Jurrjens went 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA in the 16 starts leading into the 2011 All-Star break. But that would mark the end of his successful days in Atlanta.
Jurrjens has compiled a 6.42 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .328 in the his last 18 appearances (17 starts). With his knee proving to be a constant problem after the 2011 All-Star Game, he was never able to regain the promise he had during the early days of his career.
After watching Jurrjens struggle through Spring Training and four April starts this season, the Braves sent him to Triple-A Gwinnett for two months. Jurrjens proved effective during his first four starts back at the Major League level, but after allowing at least six runs in both of his first two starts after the All-Star break, he was placed on the disabled list with what was termed a strained groin for the remainder of the season.
Moylan gained notice while pitching for Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Before suddenly developing a plus-fastball with an effective sidearm delivery, he had been employed as a pharmaceutical representative in his native Australia.
Moylan spent a little time at the big league level with the Braves in 2006 and then made 80 appearances in 2007. After missing most of the 2008 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, he showed his determination by making a franchise-record 87 appearances for the Braves in 2009. He followed that up with 85 appearances in 2010.
But after missing most of the 2011 season while recovering from back surgery, Moylan was forced to undergo shoulder surgery and missed most of this past season. He recovered in time to post a 1.80 ERA in the eight appearances he made after being placed on Atlanta's expanded roster in September.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.