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Posted at 6:32 PM ET, 01/30/2011

Report: Nationals a finalist for Justin Duchscherer

By Adam Kilgore

UPDATE, 10:48: Justin Duchscherer agreed to a one-year deal with the Orioles, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick's reports. It seemed like the Orioles were front-runners all along for Duchscherer's services, so this does not come as a surprise.

The Nationals, along with Orioles, were a finalist to land free agent right-handed starting pitcher Justin Duchsherer, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles have offered Duchscherer a major league deal, according to the report. The Nationals' precise level of interest was not known.

Duchscherer, 33, has been limited to five starts with the Oakland A's over the past two seasons because of elbow surgery and a string of hip injuries. In 2008, Duchscherer made the all-star team, going 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA in 141 2/3 innings. He threw his last pitch in August of that year and did not take the mound again until the start of last season. He compiled a 2.89 ERA in five starts, then underwent left hip surgery that knocked him out for the season.

A closer until the 2008 season, Duchscherer has declared his intention to pitcher as a starter this year. Duchscherer would provide the Nationals with another candidate to make a starting rotation lacking in star power but chocked with depth. Duchscherer's career ERA is 3.13, a sign that, if healthy, he could be a quality option in the back of a rotation.

By Adam Kilgore  | January 30, 2011; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  Pitching rotation  
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Next: Long toss: What should we make of the off-season signings?


Calling Justin Duscherer " a closer until the 2008 season" paints a pretty inaccurate picture.
He was a reliever, who got some rare opportunities to close.
Between 2004 and 2007, he made 186 relief appearances and had a combined total of 22 Saves and Blown Saves. He was not closing often. We was the closer only for a few weeks in 2005 and about 6 weeks in 2006. Huston Street had 60 saves during the two seasons that Justin Duscherer had his 14 saves.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 30, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a classic car with a lot of broken valve springs. Vote - Pass

Posted by: navboss | January 30, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I believe Rizzo has already noted, with some frustration, that the Nationals are "rumored to be interested" in every free agent whose agent wants to gin up some appearance of interest in his client. Semms luke this might be one of those times.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 30, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Seems like

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 30, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"career ERA"?? Srsly?

What's Bob Feller's? Maybe we could sign him...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 30, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

From the last post:

....which would you rather have, hives or shingles." Anybody who doesn't say Belarus and shingles is a moron.

Posted by: markfromark
Mark, that was a lovely post, but believe me when I tell you hives is to shingles as a mosquito bite is to being attacked by a swarm of wasps. If you'd like to know what shingles feels like, go through the following steps:

1) Go to Ocean City on Friday of Fourth of July weekend;
2) Lie in the sun eight hours both Saturday and Sunday;
3) Come home on Monday;
4) When you get home, find a nice wire brush and scrub your back with it. Vigorously.

Yes, I've had it.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 30, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Duchscherer has the chance, and a decent chance, to be a high quality SP. If they can get this guy, I hope that they do.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 30, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Here we go.
And Kyrgyzstan gets its name from the forty clans of Manas.
Belarus gets its name from the popular beverage White Russian.
No contest.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 30, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, gotta go with hives there. Belarus is would be ok on a nin-guaranteed minor-league contract, but I wouldn't tie up a roster spot.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 30, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Going after Duchsherrer Reminds me of a recent Tracee Hamilton article in WAPO (even though she doesn't know squat about sports). She said when pitchers and catchers report they can all compare surgical scars. Our starting pitching staff looks like a week in Dr Andrews patient schedule. Milton Bradley was on the 2008 allstar team too and I think he's on a police blotter now.

Posted by: bosco3 | January 30, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland...Hope you were being humorous, with a vague reference to the Big Lebowski. Belarus is simply the updated name of Byelorussia, and I should know, since that is where 1/2 of my ancestors resided.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | January 30, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why people complain about the Nats not spending money and then complain about bringing in "lightning in the bottle" retreads and bounceback opportunities. These are all stopgap solutions that only cost the Lerners money in hopes that some will pan out. If signing Marquis for $15M meant the Nats fell a $1M short to the Reds on Chapman, then it's unfortunate. But having 5-10 #3-5 starters vying for spots in the rotation this year tells me that the organization understands that they have to placate the fan base by putting the best team on the field they can without compromising the future or systematic player development. Even if they don't engender optimism for 2011, I don't see any of these signings or rumored associations as negative.

Posted by: McKinley2 | January 30, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

He's another soft tosser? Last year he threw around Livo velocity? This kind of doesn't make sense?

Posted by: periculum | January 30, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dargregmag | January 30, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dargregmag | January 30, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I wanted to ask for some support from my fellow Nats diehards!

Support my Skins blog:

Posted by: Sports4eva | January 30, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this link works

My Nats Blog

Posted by: Sports4eva | January 30, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Crasnick tweets he's heading to the O's.

Posted by: McKinley2 | January 30, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"Jerry Crasnick tweets he's heading to the O's."

Now, that makes sense. Poopy's team instead ... ;)

Posted by: periculum | January 30, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Damn, that clinches it! Now the O's are DEFINITELY better than us!! Curses!!!

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | January 30, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Shocker... the Gnats lose another hot stove battle to the Orioles. Looks like Poopy is s#iting all over the place.

Posted by: break20 | January 31, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Told ya ... only real last place teams like the Ori-holes are scraping the bottom of the barrel for 2 year stale soft tossers.

At least Wang threw 93.7 mph avg before he got hurt.

Posted by: periculum | January 31, 2011 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha yet another instance where the O's one-up the Natinals.

Loved what Justin's agent had to say:

""Ultimately, to his perspective Baltimore presented the best set of factors as far as where he wants to go and pitch."

Natinals spurned again.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 31, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

You were in "RAPID response" mode one way or another on this one AND don't PRETEND otherwise. Had they signed him, you would have been PRAISING it and making Michael Rizzo out to be the be the BEST GM.

But instead, you show your true sour grapes colors.

Probably losing Cliff Lee, who the Gnats would've overpaid the Phils for was "OK" with you too.

But the proof is in the pudding, free agents want to come here rather than smell Poopy's odor in the Anacostia.

Posted by: break20 | January 31, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

5 starts in two seasons... I can't believe he didn't choose the Nats. He could have been mentored by Chin Ming Wang on how not to pitch in Washington.

Posted by: noslok | January 31, 2011 2:02 AM | Report abuse

"5 starts in two seasons... I can't believe he didn't choose the Nats. He could have been mentored by Chin Ming Wang on how not to pitch in Washington.'

Posted by: noslok | January 31, 2011 2:02 AM

And how much did the Gnats waste last season on Wang? And they Right a Wang this year again too. Your pathetic!!!!

Posted by: break20 | January 31, 2011 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Glad the Orioles got him. Nats do not need another rehab project.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 31, 2011 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Kilgore threw out this Duchscherer post while I'm still trying to work out the whole "Kyrgyzstan vs. Belarus" thing. I can't afford to be distracted at a time like this!

Posted by: baltova1 | January 31, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Here's the quote:
"Ultimately, to his perspective Baltimore presented the best set of factors as far as where he wants to go and pitch."

This is good news to Nats fans.

Duchscherer clearly wants the situation where he thinks he has the best chance of breaking into the starting rotation and getting the ball every 5th day. And he thought it would be tougher with the Nats than some other places.

Top tier free agents are looking for post-season opportunities. Guys like Duchscherer are kinda looking for the opposite. They want to join the team that needs them the most, and affords them the most likely opportunity to play regularly and build up their value. Duchscherer looked at the Nats and thought he's more likely to break into a starting rotation somewhere else.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 31, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Thank god we didn't sign another rehab project. Crackmore can have him.

Can't wait until the Nationals win at least 10+ more games than the O's and Poppy goes radio silent on this board. Lot of talk now, but he'll be nowhere to be found by August. Write it down...

Posted by: ByrceHarper_2012_ROY | January 31, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Now the only question is, which super-stud will the O's have to drop from their 40-man roster?

Chorye Spoone or Pedro Florimon Jr.

What do you think Poopy?

Posted by: SpashCity | January 31, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Now the only question is, which super-stud will the O's have to drop from their 40-man roster?

Chorye Spoone or Pedro Florimon Jr.

What do you think Poopy?

Posted by: SpashCity | January 31, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Now the only question is, which super-stud will the O's have to drop from their 40-man roster?

Chorye Spoone or Pedro Florimon Jr.What do you think Poopy?

Poopy says: Alfredo Simón Cabrera

Posted by: bosco3 | January 31, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Duch is a major rehab project. We already have a couple of those. He would have started in Syracuse and I truly do not believe Rizzo was ever active in his persuit of him. I'm sure Dutch's agent tried to place him with the Nationals but it would have made no sense.

In bmore he can hope to crack the rotation, which would have absolutely not happened in Washington.

The next three years of baseball are going to be absolutely devastating to the Baltimore fan base. The birds will actually have consecutive 100 loss seasons and the Nationals are going to suprise a lot of people. Whatever DC metro fan base the O's had a hold on all these years will transition to the Cathedral baseball and it will all be over with. I'm praying for a different TV deal so that I don't have to be subject to their God awful commercials. The icing on the cake will be when we swap Amber Theoharris for Debbie 'The Butcher' Taylor.

Three years from now, NO ONE will talk about the O's, outside of Vegas investment groups looking to relocate the team.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | January 31, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping Duke pulls it together, comes back from the injuries, and puts together a nice season. Just glad he's going to do it on another team. The last thing the Nats needed was another reclamation project SP.

But pitching in the "friendly confines" of OPACY is a lot different from pitching in cavernous Oakland Coliseum. I don't see that helping his cause.

Posted by: js_edit | January 31, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse


Near the bottom of the previous post you did say something like, "C'mon Rizzo, we need another arm. Pull the trigger, baybee!" Wre you being serious, or sarcastic? Now, you'll probably say you were being sarcastic, but it didn't read that way initially.

Sigh...I know, DNFTT, but, anyway,


If the Nats had picked up Duchscherer (even if only for a minor-league contract), you would have called it dumpster-diving desperation. Now you profess to be satisfied that the Orioles are burning a 40-man roster spot on him. Don't make me laugh. Duchscherer would have been a reasonable pick-up for a minor-league contract; he's probably signing with the O's because they offered him a major-league contract. What does that say about the O's pitching?

Regarding Vlad Guerrero, I agree with you that he would be a good acquisition for the O's. He'd be a great DH for them. Since he can no longer play in the field, however, he'd be a bad pick-up for the Nats. We don't need another fielding project at 1st base; we already went through that with Adam Dunn. You'll note that he finally accepted his fate and signed with the AL Chisox.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 31, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Erratum: "WERE you being serious...?"

P.S. regarding Dunn: I would have been willing to sign a three-year, $42M contract with him because he was already playing 1st base and learning the position; if we got Guerrero and moved him to 1st, we'd be starting over from scratch again, fielding-wise.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 31, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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