According to Buster Olney, the A’s are thinking about moving 30 year-old Justin Duchscherer to the starting rotation. Duke hasn’t started a big league game since 2003 (he started 20 in the minors that year). His 2007 season ended in July as he opted for surgery on his arthritic hip. He’s battled elbow, triceps, neck, and back problems in the past.
Why is this relevant to rumor junkies? Because even if Duchscherer and Rich Harden are health question marks, more starting pitching depth increases the chances of a Joe Blanton or even a Dan Haren trade this winter. As I mentioned in my A’s Needs and Luxuries post, Billy Beane’s best attribute seems to be digging up underappreciated starters. Beane could trade one of his front-end rotation guys for a shortstop, third baseman, and/or top pitching prospect. Chin-Lung Hu and Andy LaRoche would be a sweet bounty.