There are only a couple of free agents remaining on the open market who could have real value in 2011. Justin Duchscherer is one of them.
The 33-year-old right-hander boasts an excellent 3.13 career ERA and 1.14 career WHIP across eight major league seasons. He has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, but his numbers have remained strong during the times that he has not on the disabled list and he told Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com last week that he is “pretty much 100 percent” heading into spring training this season.
The Nationals are hoping to land him, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. The Mariners want him too, a source told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are also in the running, and they might have the best shot right now.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Baltimore is “in the lead” for Duchscherer and may have already given him a one-year major league contract offer.
The right-hander would probably get a chance to land one of the final spots in the O’s staring rotation this spring. Brian Matusz is a lock, Jeremy Guthrie is too. But Duchscherer could probably beat out some of the other young pitchers in Orioles camp if he simply shows that his hip is intact.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.