Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox “have expressed interest in” free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer, who missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 following hip and elbow surgeries.
Duchscherer was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the eighth round back in 1996 and was traded to the Rangers in 2001 for Doug Mirabelli.
When healthy he’s been a very effective pitcher for the A’s as both a starter and reliever, posting a 3.13 ERA in 455 career innings, but he’s logged more than 60 innings in a season just once in the past five years.
He’ll likely have to settle for an inventive-laden one-year contract at this point and Duchscherer does have a relationship with new Boston pitching coach Curt Young from their time together in Oakland, which along with the Red Sox’s recent tendency to pursue pitchers coming off injuries makes him a plausible target for Theo Epstein and company.
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.