Monday, January 31, 2011

O's sign Duchscherer

According to The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly, via Orioles Insider, the Orioles have signed veteran right-hander Justin Duchscherer to a one-year deal. Duchscherer, who wants to pitch in the rotation, apparently chose the O's over the Nationals and Mariners because they've guaranteed him a place on the roster as a starter.

Here are some of the details of Duchscherer's contract, detailed by Connolly:
He will make $700,000 in a base contract that will increase to $1.1 million whenever he is put on the 25-man roster (that will be pro-rated if it is later than Opening Day). He has incentives based on games started that will continue to build and eventually would bring his salary to $4.5 million if he makes 30 starts in 2011. He also has a standard awards bonus package which includes an additional $100,000 if he is named Comeback Player of the Year. His physical will be either Tuesday or Wednesday.
That certainly seems like a fair deal, especially if Duchscherer (33) can stay healthy and pitch like he did in 2008, when he had a 2.54 ERA in 141.2 innings. He won't strike out a lot of batters (6.87 K/9), but he won't walk many either (2.40 BB/9).

If Duchscherer can stay off of the disabled list and regain his pitching form, it'll give the O's a relatively cheap starting pitching option while also providing more time for Chris Tillman and Zach Britton to hone their skills in Triple-A. Duchscherer's signing also seemingly completes the O's Opening Day rotation that will likely include Brian Matusz, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Arrieta, and Brad Bergesen.

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