Red Sox have “genuine” interest in Duchscherer
A source close to the situation confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday that the Red Sox have “genuine” interest in free-agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer.
Duchscherer has experience out of the bullpen and as a starter, but he’s only looking to land on a club where he can start — though it’s hard to see where that lies on a Red Sox team that already has Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield.
It’s still very early in the process, and a free agent like Duchscherer is likely to let the market play out to see where he can be given the best opportunity in Spring Training. But a baseball source said the Red Sox’s interest is “as genuine as it can be two days into free agency.”
Duchscherer, 33 on Nov. 19, has proven he can pitch effectively when healthy, but that hasn’t been the case lately. The last time was in his first season as a starter in 2008, when he went 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA in 22 starts for Oakland.
He then missed all of ’09 while undergoing elbow surgery and being treated for depression. Then, last year — after signing a one-year, $2 million incentive-laden deal to re-up with the A’s — he went 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts before undergoing season-ending hip surgery.
Duchscherer, drafted by the Red Sox in 1996 before being traded to the Rangers for Doug Mirabelli in 2001, is currently long-tossing from 140 feet. He expects to throw some bullpen sessions before shutting it down for the holidays, and he doesn’t expect to go into Spring Training with any ailments.
Regarding the Red Sox’s own free agents, The Boston Globe wrote Tuesday that six teams — including the Red Sox — have expressed interest in Victor Martinez.
— Alden Gonzalez