Free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer may be close to finding a new team.
The right-hander drew interest from the Yankees earlier this winter and, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week.
Duchscherer tallied only 28 total innings last year for the A’s and sat out for all of 2009, but the 33-year-old still boasts a strong 3.13 career ERA and 1.14 career WHIP across seven major league seasons.
Also, he’s claiming to be fully healed from the hip surgery that cut short his 2010 campaign and he’s expected to be a full participant during spring training.
On a one-year contract with a low base salary and a couple million dollars in incentives, “The Duke of Hurl” would make a fine gamble for clubs in need of rotation depth. There are many of those.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.