Orioles Sign Justin Duchscherer

The Orioles and Justin Duchscherer have finalized a one-year deal that could be worth as much as $4.5MM in salary and incentives. The right-hander has passed his physical, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Dan Connolly of the Sun reports that Duchscherer gets $700K guaranteed and that his base salary will jump to $1.1MM when he makes the roster (Twitter links). To get the full $4.5MM, he'll have to make 30 starts.

Earlier in the week we heard that just a handful of clubs were in on the Duke of Hurl, and it eventually came down to beltway neighbors Baltimore and Washington. Duchscherer is represented by Lapa/Leventhal.

The 33-year-old right-hander made just five starts for the Athletics last year, pitching to a 2.89 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 28 innings. He had surgery on his hip, and has also battled elbow issues and depression in recent years. Duchscherer has a ton of experience as both a starter (3.01 ERA in 194 1/3 IP) and a reliever (3.22 ERA in 260 1/3 IP), but he recently said he'd like to remain in the rotation. He's never come close to making the 30 starts needed to max out his contract, topping out at 22 starts in 2008.

Duchscherer showcased his stuff at a workout on Friday, and was set for an encore performance on Tuesday, but that obviously won't be necessary. The O's have been looking for a veteran starter to slot in behind Jeremy Guthrie and in front of their younger arms, which Duke should be able to do as long as he's healthy.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement.