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.
- 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."
- Clearly Duchscherer can't be counted on for innings; you just have to hope for a year with minimal DL time.
- These upside pitching signings have a high failure rate – of the $36.35MM guaranteed this year to Duchscherer, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden, Brett Myers, Scott Olsen, Brad Penny, Ben Sheets, and Chien-Ming Wang, only Myers was worth it.
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.
Could see him winding up on the Pirates if there isn’t a ton of interest. Huntington said he’s looking for starters in FA and the price is right
These are the kind of signings that a team like the Pirates should pursue. If he pitches well Dutch becomes a valuable trade chip. If he doesn’t it’s only a million bucks. Even the Pirates can afford that.
I love professional sports. Where else would you hear a quote like “If he doesn’t it’s only a million bucks”. If only someone would be so willing to give me a measly million dollars.
Always one of my high risk/high reward favorites. The guy can pitch well and is definitely due another opportunity. I think the A’s have proven, though, they can survive quite well without him in the rotation, so I expect the A’s to let him walk. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Padres get him if they can swoop in for cheap. If there’s one thing we know about the Padres is that they are bargain basement shoppers.
I also like K. Towers and the D-backs to take a run at him. Towers is a specialist when it comes to fiscal efficiency from a GM.
I think there will be plenty of interest in Duchscherer, just not sure teams will be ready to part with much cash. A low dollar deal with a lot of incentives seems the most likely to happen.
you would think dutch would return to the bullpen, i could see some one paying 2 mil plus incetives to use him as a 60-70 inning swing man
I think he’d be a great pick up for the Mets to round out their rotation. With Santana gone, I think they really need another starter. If Duchscherer can rebound, he might become a valuable asset.
“I can’t imagine what else could go wrong.” Oh, great. You might as well just set him on fire right now.