Report: Yankees “stepping up” pursuit of Duchscherer

Jones v. Thames: The fourth outfielder battle
Should the Yankees move Cano up in the order?
(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.

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Jones v. Thames: The fourth outfielder battle
Should the Yankees move Cano up in the order?
  • Regis

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

    • Mike Myers

      Thats funny, I was gonna put the same thing. He killed it for me in fantasy a few years ago. For that alone ill support a contract….

    • Big Apple

      What’s funny is I’m the same way with AJ Burnett…I picked him up during the season in his rookie year and he pitched pretty well for me. I’m a sick bastard because I always have a soft spot for AJ Burnett!

    • Gerald Williams

      ROLL THE DICE ON THE DUKE!

      • Luis Sojo the Pasta Eating Machine

        Roll the dice on El Duke!

  • Mike Myers

    Joe,

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Brett Myers had it recently, I think 2009.

      • Mike Myers

        “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.

  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

    I want. Very much want.

  • Poopy Pants

    They found someone to take over for Nick Johnson.

    • Big Apple

      +1

    • Colombo

      If you mean a low cost, high reward investment that could really help the team if everything works out well, then yes, you are correct.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Why bother?

      • Poopy Pants

        Are you Nick’s father?

        • Thomas

          The name Colombo Johnson would be an epic porn name, in my opinion.

          • Colombo

            My secret is out…

        • Colombo

          Nope, just someone who takes the extra second to look at the big picture here. If Nick Johnson didn’t get hurt last year, posted an OBP in the .390-.400 range and hit 12-15 HR, it would have been a great signing. He got hurt, and all it cost was money. Cashman rolled the dice on him and it didn’t work. Does this mean he should never try it again? No. If you have the opportunity to get a quality player coming off injury that could benefit your team, you do it.

          • Poopy Pants

            Keep in mind not every comment on this site is 100% serious. Maybe take a deep breath before getting so worked up about what some fool writes on a baseball message board. Don’t be a Kabak.

    • Jorge

      And, with the IBS, perhaps someone to take over Chan Ho Park’s diarrhea issues.

  • bobmac

    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.

    • Big Apple

      no brainer as long as the yanks don’t give up anything in return…say, Kei Igawa?

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

        Untradable, just because he’ll cost the team $$.

  • bobmac

    My bad,straight signing.

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “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.

    • Big Apple

      IBS, Inc.

    • Mike Myers

      I bet the new bullpen we have has a nice pooper. He should be ok.

      • Thomas

        They had a good one, but Chan Ho Park clogged it.

    • steve (different one)

      So the Yanks might pick up two Schlitters in the same offseason?

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        Heh.

      • Pounder

        Kudos

  • http://www.yankeeist.com Matt Warden

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Made me laugh.

  • JZ

    IBS totally sucks. I feel for the guy.

    • Big Apple

      me too…its a shitty thing to have

      • AndrewYF

        For a while I thought it just meant you had an itchy ass.

        It’s so much worse than that.

        (I actually like the alternative name: spastic colon)

        • http://deleted Craig

          as someone who also has IBS, take it from me, it’s a pain in the ass (no pun intended)

  • Rockdog

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

    /diarrhea

    • Pounder

      Guess i’m the only one to get that…good one.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

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

    • Thomas

      Yeah, I thought he said he didn’t want to play in NY either, but maybe his opinion has changed.

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      Yeah last year he was quoted as saying he hated the Yankees, and that the A’s were sick of losing to them all the time, etc. All that hatred goes away fast when they’re stepping up to pay you, I’m sure.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        Good, if that was the context then that’s really not a concern. I’d hate anyone who beat me repeatedly as well.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

        I’m 99% certain he never said he hated the Yankees. I believe he said he was sensitive about the Yankees getting all the attention all the time. A search for the quote has proven unfruitful.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          I’m 99% certain

          So you’re saying there’s a chance?

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah I remember the last time I was looking for the Duchscherer/Yankees quotes they were really hard to find for some reason.

          I don’t remember what he said exactly, but the gist of it wasn’t even that he said something about hating the Yankees, necessarily, but rather just that he was super-sensitive when a reporter even asked his teammates about the Yankees. I also think it happened on more than one occasion. I remember reading the quotes/context given by the reporter and thinking he, at the least, had a pretty sizable chip on his shoulder concerning the Yanks.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “… but rather just that he was super-sensitive irritable…”

            /Duchscherer’d

            (I’ll show myself out.)

            • jsbrendog (returns)

              it’s ok buddy, ietc

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch aka Master of the Obvious

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

  • BavarianYankee

    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!

    • BavarianYankee

      them = the Yanks

      that’s what happens when replies go wrong XD

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      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.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        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.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          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

        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.

  • Shaun

    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.

    • Shaun

      Besides anytime you can pick up an A’s pitcher for just cash I’ll pull that trigger everytime and 3 times on sunday

  • CS Yankee

    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

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

      • CS Yankee

        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.

        • CS Yankee

          If he is a Yankee and pitches well, I’ll just start it here…”J-Du”

        • Big Apple

          good advice on Teix…you never want to confuse him with that Douche in Boston.

  • Mike HC

    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.

  • UncleArgyle

    “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

      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.

  • Kevin Ocala, Fl

    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

      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)

        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

  • Fair Weather Freddy

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

  • Gonzo

    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

      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.

      • Gonzo

        I know, but I don’t think it’s likely he’ll make it to 120ip+.

  • Frank

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

  • Dr Van Nostrand

    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

      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.

  • Monteroisdinero

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

  • UnNamed Yankee Source

    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.

    • Mike Myers

      Id rather the yankees have to play will live gernades than Ollie.

    • Gonzo

      Whoa! Ollie and Castillo? Alderson would have to kick in 100+ steaks and BJ’s for everyone.

  • mike

    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)

      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.

  • ND Mike

    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.

  • slim

    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…