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.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.