Justin Duchscherer Rumors

Odds & Ends: Duchscherer, Bruce, Nolasco, Votto

Some links as the Rangers look to close out the Yankees at home..


Free Agent Stock Watch: Justin Duchscherer

The Athletics' last offseason was a risky one, with the team committing over $17MM to Ben Sheets, Coco Crisp, and Justin Duchscherer despite the trio barely playing in 2009.  Duchscherer was the least risky of the bunch in that the A's only guaranteed him $1.75MM.  The move did not pay off, as Duchscherer provided only 28 innings before undergoing season-ending hip surgery in June. 

Duchscherer told MLB.com's Jane Lee he's open to returning to the A's, but let's take a look at his situation as he heads to free agency again.

The Pros

  • Duchscherer told Lee, "When I'm healthy, I've always proven that I can pitch."  The 32-year-old righty made only 27 starts from 2008-10, but he posted a 2.60 ERA in those 169.6 innings.
  • The price will be right – after two lost seasons in a row, Duchscherer should be looking at a smaller guarantee or even a minor league deal this offseason.
  • Both of Duchscherer's hips and his pitching elbow have already been fixed, so as he says, "I can't imagine what else could go wrong."

The Cons

The Verdict

Duchscherer will still find a big league deal, but his base salary will be closer to $1MM this time.  A few weeks ago, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith listed 14 teams that might be interested in this type of starter during the offseason.


Odds & Ends: Burrell, Diamondbacks, Oswalt

Some links to check out following Roy Halladay's perfect night..



Odds & Ends: Peavy, Duchscherer, Vasquez, Piniella

Links for Monday, as Jose Bautista continues to astound…

  • Jake Peavy told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he has no interest in being part of a rebuilding effort at this point in his career. He hasn't given up on the White Sox, though.
  • The injured Justin Duchscherer tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to pitch in 2011 (Twitter link).
  • Yahoo's Tim Brown lists Dave Trembley, Jerry Manuel and other managers whose jobs aren't completely secure.
  • Frankie Piliere of MLB FanHouse names 24 international player to watch leading up to July 2nd, when teams can start signing a new crop of free agents. The Giants are among the favorites to sign top Dominican outfielder Eskarlin Vasquez.
  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry says he doesn't have "one thought" in his mind about firing Lou Piniella, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
  • Another manager whose contract expires after the season, Jerry Manuel, tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork that he isn't worried about his status (Twitter link).
  • RotoAuthority identifies some pitchers who have gained and lost velocity this season. Francisco Liriano's fastball has more zip than ever and, now that he's in the rotation, C.J. Wilson isn't throwing as hard.
  • Rival executives feel that the Nationals could become aggressive this trade deadline, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The Nats, now 20-18, could take on an apparently-oversized contract and make a playoff push.
  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo explains that top college pitchers Anthony Ranaudo and Drew Pomeranz have struggled recently and aren't as attractive to teams as they once were.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes the Cubs should consider firing Lou Piniella if they don't jump into serious contention.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains that Jose Bautista and Jake Westbrook could be attractive trade chips later in the summer.
  • South Side Sox says Kenny Williams' roster construction "lacked imagination and vision" this year. The result so far: a 15-22 record for the White Sox.

Players Who Cannot Be Offered Arbitration

Being designated a Type A free agent can be a detriment if the team offers arbitration.  If the player accepts, he's off the market on a one-year deal and has a limited salary range.  If he declines, his new team must surrender a draft pick upon signing him.  Carrying around the added draft pick cost, Juan Cruz and Orlando Cabrera were among those with fewer opportunities as free agents after the '08 season.

As a result, a contractual clause prohibiting the team from offering arbitration if a player receives Type A status has been gaining in popularity.  During the 2009-10 offseason, at least four players had this clause added:

  • Orlando Hudson, Legacy Sports.  Hudson was offered and turned down arbitration from the Diamondbacks after the '08 season, and was surprised he could only find a one-year deal from the Dodgers guaranteeing $3.38MM.  The Dodgers were willing to give up the #17 overall pick to get Hudson at the reduced rate.  Hudson avoided the problem when the Dodgers chose not to offer arbitration after the '09 season.  His agent made sure it would not surface again after '10 by having a clause included in his Twins contract prohibiting the team from offering arbitration if he's a Type A.  Hudson is a Type B right now anyway.
  • Brad Penny, Legacy Sports.  Penny was well-paid by the Cardinals given his 2009 stats, but he also had the "no arbitration offer" clause included.  That might've been optimistic, since right now he's not even a Type B.
  • Justin Duchscherer, Lapa/Leventhal.  The A's offered arbitration to Duchscherer, a Type B, after the '09 season.  He declined and re-signed, and this time made sure the team cannot offer if he's a Type A.  The point is moot, as Duchscherer is below Type B and may miss the rest of the season with hip surgery.
  • Ben Sheets, CAA.  Not only did Sheets snag a huge $10MM guarantee after missing all of '09, he got this clause added just in case he has a season awesome enough to vault him to Type A status.  I'm not sure that's even possible.  Though he's been better recently, he'd need to quadruple his current Elias points (15.175) to reach Type B. 
  • Scott Boras may have been out front on this trend.  He had the clause included in Ivan Rodriguez's one-year, $10MM deal with the Marlins in '03 as well as Carlos Beltran's seven-year, $119MM deal signed in '05.  Beltran is a Type A at this time, but the Mets might not have offered arbitration after '11 anyway.

Odds & Ends: Storen, Duchscherer, Johnson

Links for Sunday, as we wait to see if the Dodgers can extend their six-game winning streak….


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Mets, Damon, Burrell, Lopez

On this date two years ago, the Mets and Twins agreed to a five player deal sending two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to New York. The Mets and Santana had a 72-hour window to finalize a contract extension, and the two sides eventually agreed to a six-year, $137.5MM contract to make the trade official. Santana has given the Mets over 400 innings of 2.78 ERA ball, while just one of the four players the Twins received in the deal is still with the organization.

Here's some links from around the baseball blogosphere…

  • Blogging Mets isn't sure where the Mets can turn for pitching help now that Jon Garland and Ben Sheets are off the market.
  • The Baseball Opinion wonders if the Sheets and Justin Duchscherer signings were calculated moves by Billy Beane made with the intention of flipping both at the trade deadline.
  • Royals Authority takes a look a Kansas City's crowded outfield.
  • Camden Crazies goes through some different roster permutations for the Orioles.
  • The Sports Banter comes up with some possible destinations for Johnny Damon.
  • Meanwhile, U.S.S. Mariner thinks Damon would be a cost effective way to upgrade Seattle's roster.
  • Rays Index takes the latest Rays' rumors as a sign that they're still trying to trade Pat Burrell.
  • Pro Ball NW gives us five reasons why the Mariners should trade Jose Lopez.
  • TAUNTR chimes in on some of the latest hot stove news.

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Odds & Ends: Bay, Byrd, Liriano, Duchscherer

Some links on the last day of a year we'll remember for Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols and the World Series Champion New York Yankees…

  • Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his younger brother Brandon Laird, a prospect in the Yankees farm system, were arrested following a brawl at the Celtics-Suns NBA game in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the Associated Press.  Gerald lives in Arizona during the offseason while Brandon played in the Arizona Fall League this past year.
  • Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (via his newly minted Twitter account) that Chan Ho Park's name has come up in the Giants' front office.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com hears that Jason Bay was indeed interested in joining the Mets. The two sides didn't go longer than a day without talking once negotiations got started. An interesting note: Speier hears that the Mets never offered Bay a guaranteed five-year deal.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs considers Marlon Byrd an average player, but likes the Cubs' decision to sign him.
  • Cameron tweets that the Mariners are "kicking the tires" on Francisco Liriano.
  • Mike Lowell's thumb surgery was a success, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Lowell appears to be available, but health concerns may prevent the Red Sox from dealing the third baseman and some of his $12MM salary (the D'Backs face a similar challenge with Chris Snyder). 
  • Just because Lowell's still in Boston doesn't mean the Red Sox won't consider other third basemen. Adrian Beltre is one option and R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs doesn't think $10-15MM is an unfair asking price for the Scott Boras client. 
  • Justin Duchscherer tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he returned to the A's because he's comfortable in Oakland and appreciates the club's support through his struggles with depression. Slusser also has details on the incentives in the righty's contract. 
  • Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues wants the Yankees to stay away from free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd. 
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Pirates' failure to sign Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano was one of the club's low points this year. As Kovacevic says, "not every signing can be an absolute steal."  

Athletics Re-Sign Justin Duchscherer

The A's re-signed righty Justin Duchscherer to a one-year deal today.  His contract has a base salary of $2MM, with another $3.5MM in incentives for games started and innings pitched.  The A's aren't allowed to offer Duchscherer arbitration if he's a Type A free agent, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement on December 24th.  Duchscherer also drew interest from the Pirates, Red Sox, and Rockies, among other teams.

Duchscherer has spent nearly all of his major league career in Oakland, after the Rangers traded him to the Athletics in the spring of 2002. The 32-year-old proved dominant as both a starter and reliever, when healthy, posting a 2.82 ERA in 214 appearances for the A's.  Duchscherer missed the '09 season due to elbow surgery and depression, as explained by Crasnick in this article.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


Jay Marshall Designated For Assignment

The A's designated southpaw reliever Jay Marshall for assignment to make room for Justin Duchscherer today, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Marshall, 27 in February, spent most of the last two seasons in the minors.  This year at Triple A he posted a 3.20 ERA, 5.3 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9 in 50.6 innings.

Marshall joined the A's as a Rule 5 claim from the White Sox in '06.  The A's did their part and kept Marshall with the big club in '07, but the Red Sox claimed him off waivers after the season.  The A's were able to claim him back a few months later.