Report: Yankees “stepping up” pursuit of Duchscherer


(Elaine Thompson/AP)

It appears as though the Yankees have found a target to help fill one of their pitching vacancies. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Yankees “are stepping up their pursuit” of right-hander Justin Duchscherer. We’ve seen the Yankees and Duchscherer connected before, at the 2009 trade deadline and then again last off-season. With a couple of questionable spots in the rotation, plus the perpetual need for bullpen arms, Duchscherer could fill a number of roles on the 2011 Yankees.

Duchscherer established himself as a quality relief pitcher from 2004 through 2007, when he produced a 3.69 ERA (3.81 FIP) in 256 innings. The A’s then decided to try him in the rotation, and it was for the most part a success. In 2008 he made 22 starts and pitched 141.2 innings to a 2.54 ERA (3.69 FIP). Unfortunately, that’s when injuries started to take hold.

During the 2008 season Duchscherer missed 62 days due to injury, 21 with a biceps strain and 41 with a right hip strain. The hip was the most problematic issue, since he had missed much of the 2007 issue after undergoing surgery on his labrum (similar to Alex Rodriguez). Duchscherer then missed the entire 2009 season after having bone spurs removed from his elbow. He returned to open the 2010 season in the A’s rotation, but after five starts he again needed hip surgery, this time on the left side.

Because of the injuries, and particularly because of his hip issues, it’s hard to imagine Duchscherer making much of an impact in 2011. While he has experience in the bullpen he apparently prefers to start, though for good reason. He suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and finds that the uncertainty of bullpen life worsens the condition. Considering his physical issues with starting, I’m not sure how well he fits here. Then again, with his combination of issues I’m not sure how well he fits anywhere.

We’ve yet to see anything regarding terms of a potential deal, but I’ll echo Larry from Yankeeist: there is no way this comes in a dime higher than the $1.75 million Duchscherer made last year, and could certainly be a split minor league/major league deal. I like Duchscherer and I think if healthy he can be an effective fourth starter on the team. But that’s a rather large if. The Yanks have the money, so they might as well go ahead, but I wouldn’t expect much from this move, much as I want to.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Regis says:

    I’ve always liked this guy since he helped my fantasy team one season many moons ago but he is always hurt.

  2. Mike Myers says:


    Any comparisons from the past with hip problems? I dont know why, but I cant remember too many pitchers with hip issues.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Brett Myers had it recently, I think 2009.

      • Mike Myers says:

        “Myers complained of pain in his right hip during a May 27 game against the Florida Marlins. Tests revealed a torn labrum in the hip, which required surgery. Myers underwent the procedure in June and was placed on the disabled list”

        you are correct. He looked much better than nove/mitre last year. Ill take him.

  3. The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

    I want. Very much want.

  4. Poopy Pants says:

    They found someone to take over for Nick Johnson.

  5. bobmac says:

    This trade is a no brainer.What’s the down side? He goes down mid year and you bring up one of the kids or get someone at the trade dead line.Meanwhile,as he has said they have fixed every part of him.Justin has solid upside,10 plus wins.

  6. bobmac says:

    My bad,straight signing.

  7. “He suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and finds that the uncertainty of bullpen life worsens the condition. “

    File under: Sentences Joe never thought he’d write.

  8. Matt Warden says:

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Made me laugh.

  9. JZ says:

    IBS totally sucks. I feel for the guy.

  10. Rockdog says:

    Good idea. Also should fill the void created when Chan Ho Park was pushed out.


  11. Steve H says:

    Hasn’t he stated his dislike of the Yankees in the past? Maybe a few extra dollars would make him forget it.

  12. Last year, we had enough relievers soiling themselves in Chan Ho Park and Chad Gaudin.

  13. BavarianYankee says:

    he hates them so much that he joins them to destroy them from within XD

    I like that douche as a player but I can’t like somebody who hates the Yanks. Sry, next one please!

  14. Andrew says:

    I like the flexibility he could provide at the back end of the rotation but his track record health wise is terrible and what makes me not like him just out of fear of him becoming a sunk cost during the year, but also keeping them from signing another risk/reward guy this offseason. On top of the two hip surgeries plus the bone chips in the elbow, he also had that depression issue in ’09 that shut his season down.

    • Steve H says:

      All risk/reward guys could turn out to be a sunk cost though. It’s a small sunk cost (see CHoP), and I think Duke certainly carries more potential reward than the Bonderman’s and Penny’s (now signed) of the world.

      • Andrew says:

        I guess it’s more like, of the still-available risk/reward pitchers, Duchscherer seems to me to be the most likely to provide absolutely nothing on the field this year. Bonderman at the very least seems like he will actually get on the mound, although it’s doubtful he provides anything close to great pitching.

        • Steve H says:

          I agree, he’s probably the biggest risk and biggest potential reward. I’d rather go for the biggest return on cases like this, but I can certainly see going for the safest return as well.

      • Big Apple says:

        its ok as long as there aren’t too many of them on the team and you really don’t need production from them. that way its a nice surprise if they do well. but if you sign a guy like this and count on him for production and he ends up sucking or is injured..or both…then its worthless.

  15. Shaun says:

    I actually like this, it looks like can give quality innings in the AL, he will come cheap and god-forbid he gets hurt, Brackman/Phelps/Noesi (I think Brackman)will have done their reps in AAA and be ready to step in.

  16. CS Yankee says:

    If they can get him at a reasonable costs, I bet they would.

    Not much left on the bin, Penny got a 3-year deal at about a penny per, and should make Bonderman open to deal (I don’t like that idea) unless they use penny in the pen.

    I would throw a few bucks at Francis as well, having Duchs & Francis competing should keep Meat-tray out of consideration and challege Nova for the fifth spot (assumes AP is done).

    • Big Apple says:

      is his nickname “Duchs” or “Douche”? I want to make sure I get it right.

      • CS Yankee says:

        IDK, I went with Duchs for short, but I also write Teix instead of Tex; it rules out the state & and reference to that BoSox catchers nickname.

        Plus, do you want to call a guy Duchs (Dutch) or Douche? I go with the “non-dis” on names.

  17. Mike HC says:

    If the Yanks are ok with his medical situation, I would definitely give it a go. He definitely had a bunch of injuries, but all of them seem like they are recoverable issues. For a couple million it seems like a small risk for a potentially solid starter, even if he can only pitch 100 innings or so.

  18. UncleArgyle says:

    “He suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and finds that the uncertainty of bullpen life worsens the condition”

    Not to make fun of a legitimate medical problem, but I don’t think the Yankees are best served by adding a bullpen arm that might literally shit himself if called on to get a big out.

    • a plethora of pinatas says:

      Well, at least if he’s having a flare up you’ll know he’ll be pitching quick innings. And if he’s pitching well I’m sure the boys would gladly chip in for a few cases of Depends.

  19. Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

    Great, as a starter he’s a time-bomb, in the bullpen he’s a bomb that could go off at any second. I can see him getting the call in play-offs. Maybe he could do for immodium what Palmeiro did for Viagra…

    • Big Apple says:

      I’m sure Cashman is keeping the endorsement and sponsorship deals in line..envision if you will…large outfield signs for Depends, Immodium and Massingill/Summer’s Eve

      • steve (different one) says:

        It’s a standard contract rider at this point. Cashman has landed similar deals for Humberto “Dirty” Sanchez, Royce “O” Ring, Colter “refried” Bean, Kevin Brown, and of course, Randy Choate

  20. Fair Weather Freddy says:

    So if he bombs, he becomes known as Disposable Dusch!

  21. Gonzo says:

    What can you do. Not thrilled, but these are the times we are living in right now. Would love for him to sign a cheap deal and out-WAR Soriano though. That would be sweet in unprobable.

    • whozat says:

      If he can be healthy enough to pitch even 120 solid innings, I think he’d out-WAR Soriano pretty easily. The very best relievers contribute about as much to team wins as a durable-but-mediocre starter. A fragile-but-solid starter could easily be more useful than a setup guy.

  22. Frank says:

    Cash seals the deal by including a clause in which Duchscherer will make some extra $$ as a spokesman for Charmin.

  23. Dr Van Nostrand says:

    i’ve had IBS for 20 years. its not a pleasant condition but its being vastly overstated here. i’m sure he’s more than capable of getting a big out from the bullpen or joining the starting rotation

    • Gonzo says:

      I think it’s from the Duch’s perspective. I think he means that his IBS is under better control when he knows he’s getting the ball every 5 days as opposed to 70+ innings scattered during the season.

  24. Monteroisdinero says:

    we’ve gone from Colon (Bartolo) to IBS. Full circle.

  25. UnNamed Yankee Source says:

    If we are taking fliers on guys, how about seeing what we could work out with the Mets? Maybe Take Oliver Perez & Luis Castillo at a Huge Discount for a scrap prospect. Lets see what Rotschild could do with Perez. Castillo should be better than Pena/Nunez. Both are FA at the end of the year if the flier is a failure.

  26. mike says:

    no thanks, he’s basically the pitching version of Nick Johnson. I’d rather have Millwood or trade for Wandy Rodriguez since we’d need a lefty

    • steve (different one) says:

      I don’t think “trade for Wandy Rodriguez” and “take a flier on Duscherer” are mutually exclusive decisions. If the Yankees could swing a trade for Wandy. This would still be a good idea at the right price.

  27. ND Mike says:

    Let’s see two bad hip joints, bum elbow and his pooper is messed up. Is there anything on the guy that does work correctly? I keed, I keed. I like the idea of a minor/major league deal. Why not? It’s only (someone else’s) money.

  28. slim says:

    Love this deal for the Yankees.
    Injury risk always but the cost should not impact their overall budget even if he never pitches for them.
    High possible reward if he gets healthy.

    Much rather see him sign here than Bonderman, Garcia, etc…

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