Justin Duchscherer Rumors

AL East Notes: Bundy, Carmona, Papelbon

The AL East won't be short on storylines tonight, when the Red Sox host the Yankees in Boston and Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie makes his MLB debut against the Orioles in Baltimore. Here's the latest from the division…

  • Top Orioles draft pick Dylan Bundy is in Baltimore for a physical and he told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he hasn't yet started negotiations with the team (Twitter links).
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox made a late push for Fausto Carmona before the trade deadline.
  • Jonathan Papelbon told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he is not going to set up for anyone. Papelbon, who hits free agency after the season, then reinforced his point by speaking about himself in the third person. "Cinco don't set-up," he said. "Never."
  • Justin Duchscherer had successful hip surgery today, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). The right-hander hopes to pitch in 2012, but it won't be with the Orioles, who released him earlier in the week.
  • As Zrebiec explains, the regression of the Orioles' top young arms is the biggest reason that it's hard to see the club threatening for a playoff spot in the near future.

Orioles Release Justin Duchscherer

The Orioles have released Justin Duchscherer, who never appeared in a game for Baltimore, MLBTR has confirmed. The Orioles have since announced the move with a press release.

The 33-year-old right-hander spent the entire season on the disabled list with a strained left hip after signing a one-year deal in February that paid him $700K plus incentives. He made five starts for the 2010 A's, posting a 2.89 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 28 innings, but didn't pitch at all in 2009. The two-time All-Star has a 3.13 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 454 2/3 career innings.

Duchscherer will have hip surgery Thursday and intends to continue his career, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Quick Hits: Duchscherer, Ramirez, Marmol, Broxton

Links for Saturday..

Orioles Notes: Guerrero, Duchscherer, Scott

It's been a surprisingly busy winter for the Orioles with their newest acquisition coming tonight in the form of a one-year, $8MM deal with Vladimir Guerrero.  Here's are some of the reactions to the newest Oriole plus other pieces of O's news..

  • The $8MM deal with Guerrero will bring Baltimore's payroll to roughly $93MM, up from $73MM in 2010, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Landing Guerrero puts an exclamation point on an offseason that started poorly, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  In a separate tweet, Heyman calls the $8MM deal a "miracle" for the slugger.
  • New Orioles right-hander Justin Duchscherer was asked to undergo a more rigorous physical exam than most, writes Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com.  The 33-year-old has been through two hip operations over the last two years.
  • The O's haven't made any progress on their arbitration case with Luke Scott, tweets Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.  Both parties are still hopeful that they can avoid a hearing.  Scott has already said that he would like to sign a long-term deal in Baltimore.  You can keep track on all arbitration cases with MLBTR's Arb Tracker.

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.

Orioles & Nationals Are Finalists For Duchscherer

5:03pm: The Mariners are now out of the running, reports Connolly (Twitter links). The Orioles definitely offered Duchscherer a Major League contract.

2:36pm: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that Duchscherer's search is down to three teams: the Mariners, Orioles, and Nationals. All three have offered one-year deals, and more than one are Major League offers.

2:14pm: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Duchscherer has narrowed his options to four teams, and that the Nationals and Orioles are both making pushes to sign the former Athletic.

2:10pm: Duchscherer told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link), via text message, that he's "very close" with several teams and that his decision will be made this week.

1:19pm: The Orioles are the frontrunner to land Justin Duchscherer's services, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. According to Rosenthal, the O's have made an offer that's believed to be a Major League deal. Whether it's from Baltimore or another team, Rosenthal says the right-hander has at least one Major League offer.

Duchscherer, who turned 33 last November, has been limited to just 28 innings since a stellar 2008 season that was also marred by injury. Duchscherer's most recent trip to the DL occured in April this past season, and resulted in season-ending hip surgery on June 7. It was his his third trip to the 60-day disabled list of his career.

When healthy, Ducscherer provides plenty of value, owning a career 3.13 ERA, 6.87 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9 through 454 2/3 innings, mostly out of the bullpen.

Poll: Where Will Justin Duchscherer Sign?

With the starting pitching market nearly bare, teams in need of pitching can look back to Justin Duchscherer's 2008 and his limited action in 2010 and dream big. Since Oakland converted their longtime setup man to a starter, he's posted a 2.60 ERA through 169 2/3 innings. His rate stats are excellent (7.1 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.4 BB/9, 6.0 K/9) as well.

Unfortunately for interested teams and for Justin himself, it's taken Duchscherer three years to accumulate those numbers because of injuries. Now a free agent, the 33-year-old has narrowed his options and is choosing between Washington, Baltimore, and Seattle. Several reports have said he prefers the East Coast so he can be closer to his son in New Jersey, but there's no indication that Seattle is out of the running by any means despite that.

None of the three jump out as immediate contenders in 2011, but all three need pitching depth and can offer a chance to rebuild his stock and prove his health in order to land a much larger deal next offseason. Last week, 34.5% of the 18,000+ MLBTR readers polled agreed that Duchscherer was the best remaining free agent pitcher. Let's get your take once again:

Quick Hits: Farnsworth, Durbin, Izzy, Duchscherer

Here are a few items of note for Jan. 29, 53 years to the day after Stan Musial became the National League's highest-paid player with the one-year, $100K contract he signed with the Cardinals …

  • The Rays will pay Kyle Farnsworth $2.6MM in salary in 2011, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. If Farnsworth's option for 2012 is picked up, he will earn $3.3MM that year. If it's declined, the buyout is $650K. The deal also includes up to $300K in incentives for games finished.
  • The Phillies have not re-signed free-agent reliever Chad Durbin because he is seeking a two-year deal at a higher annual salary than the club is comfortable giving him, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Philly is also intent on preserving the roster spot for the sake of grooming younger relievers, according to Stark.
  • The Reds will decide whether to sign free-agent reliever Jason Isringhausen after watching him throw a bullpen session on Monday in Arizona, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Isringhausen signed a minor-league deal with the Reds last July but did not appear in any games for them. He last appeared in the big leagues with the Rays in June 2009, a stint that ended when he suffered an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery.
  • The Orioles remain fairly interested in free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer after receiving positive feedback on the right-hander's Friday bullpen session, blogs Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

Quick Hits: Duchscherer, Ohlendorf, Tolleson

Links for Friday…

  • Justin Duchscherer threw 50-55 pitches in front of two teams today, including the Orioles according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun. Duchscherer has invited every team except the Athletics to a public workout next Tuesday. Connolly says it's possible he'll sign before then. (Twitter links)
  • "Both sides of the table are hopeful of finding a solution without going to a hearing," said Pirates GM Neal Huntington to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch when asked about Ross Ohlendorf's arbitration case. "But both sides are fully prepared to go to a hearing if that's the only way to find a resolution. That's not an ideal ending, and I think both sides are fully aware of the ramifications if we had to go there." Pittsburgh hasn't gone to a hearing with a player since Jack Wilson in 2004. Our Arbitration Tracker shows that Ohlendorf filed for $2.02MM, the team $1.4MM.
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock says we shouldn't expect the Padres to move any starting pitchers in Spring Training this year.
  • The Athletics announced that infielder Steven Tolleson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A. He was designated for assignment last week when Oakland announced the Brian Fuentes signing.

Quick Hits: Law’s Top 100, Mahar, Sisk

While the Angels have picked up a reputation for adding pricey outfielders in recent years, they have a highly touted, cheap one on the farm in Mike Trout. Here's more on him and some other items of note …

  • Trout is ranked No. 1 on ESPN analyst Keith Law's list of Top 100 prospects of 2011, released Thursday. Leading the charge with regard to top-25 prospects are the Royals and Rays, with three apiece. Be sure to keep the names on this list in mind, as some of them will surely come up in trade talks this season and into next offseason. In fact, two of the top 25 have already been dealt: The Blue Jays' Kyle Drabek (formerly of the Phillies) and the Padres' Casey Kelly (formerly of the Red Sox).
  • The Orioles are one team that has shown interest in minor league free agent Kevin Mahar pending the resolution of the Vladimir Guerrero situation, MLBTR has learned.  Teams are considering Mahar as an outfielder/first baseman at the Triple-A level, after the 29-year-old hit .261/.342/.423 for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate.
  • The Orioles will be in attendance when free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer throws a bullpen session in Arizona on Friday, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. However, that is not to overstate Baltimore's interest, Kubatko notes, because scouting a pitcher's bullpen session is fairly common, and teams can only glean so much from it.
  • The Royals announced left-hander Brandon Sisk as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, and the Brewers did the same of infielder Erick Almonte, according to press releases from each club.
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno said that the addition of Vernon Wells' salary will not preclude the team from engaging in contract-extension talks with young stars Jered Weaver and Kendry Morales, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. The Halos have already begun those talks with Weaver.