Red Sox Interested in Justin Duchscherer
With the mindset that a team can never have too much pitching, it appears the Boston Red Sox are interested in former Oakland Athletic’s pitcher Justin Duchscherer. It was reported last week by multiple sources that the New York Yankees had expressed interest in the righty who has spent most of his career with the A’s, but now other teams are involved. After missing the entire 2009 season with elbow surgery, then bouts of clinical depression, Duchscherer returned in 2010 to make 5 starts before hurting his hip. He had surgery in June and just this week, had private workouts for 2 AL clubs (besides the Yankees) in Phoenix, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A’s and Red Sox were the only other teams to show serious interest in him, so it was likely the A’s and Red Sox who hosted the workout. (more after the jump)
There are a lot of question marks surrounding Duchscherer given his major injury issues since 2009, but he is exactly the type of player Theo Epstein loves. It would be a low-risk, potential high-reward scenario, because Duchscherer will not draw a huge contract due to his virtual absence these last few years. He is an interesting player for the Sox also because of his experience in the starter’s role and in the bullpen. Right now, it appears the Sox would put him in the bullpen, but having the flexibility to use him as a starter always intrigues Theo. Duchscherer has great career numbers (33-25, 3.13 in 224 games) and has a little post-season experience, 2 games in the 2006 ALDS (4IP, 2.25 era, 4K’s). If he can stay healthy, there is no reason he can’t make a comeback and be a strong bullpen arm or even a spot/5th starter on a good staff.
"When I’m healthy, I’ve always proven that I can pitch. The thing I have to prove is that I can stay healthy. I haven’t shown that yet. That’s the worst part about that, being a baseball player and knowing I can do it but not physically being able to. So that’s my goal, whether it’s here or somewhere else. I’m a baseball player, and I’d like to pitch at least a few more years. I’m too young to try to move on to something else. – Justin Duchscherer in an interview with MLB.com in September"
It appears that there have been no contract talks as of yet, but if the price is right and the Sox liked what they saw in their workout (assuming they had one), then why not take a run at the 33 year old?