The Yankees are stepping up their pursuit of free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer, according to a report on ESPN.com, which cited a baseball source.
With the pitching market thin and improving the rotation a priority, the Yankees have been looking to options that might offer rewards with little risk. Duchscherer has a career record of 33-25 and a 3.13 ERA in eight seasons, but the two-time American League All-Star has pitched only 28 innings over the last two seasons due to injuries.
The report said it was unclear if the Yankees were looking at Duchscherer, 33, as a starter or a reliever, but general manager Brian Cashman has said he would prefer to add a starter.
The Yankees have also recently been linked to Jeremy Bonderman and Jeff Francis on the pitching front.
– Bryan Hoch
The Tigers and Brad Penny have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, MLB.com has learned. The deal is pending a physical.
Foxsports.com reported early Tuesday morning that the one-year deal should be worth $3 million in base salary plus incentives. The Tigers have a policy of not confirming an agreement until a physical is completed.
Penny tweeted on his official account Monday night that he was “getting closer to finding my new home. Should know by the end of the day.” He did not tweet which team, but indications later confirmed he has decided on the Tigers.
That possibility seemed dim Monday, when the team released its list of non-roster invitees that was expected to would finalize its Spring Training roster. Their chances at adding a starting pitcher abruptly improved Monday evening, when Penny closed in on a decision.
The Tigers’ interest in Penny has been known since last month. They also had been linked to free agent starters Jeremy Bonderman — who pitched for Detroit the past eight years — and Freddy Garcia, but always appeared more focused on Penny. Talks never progressed far on Garcia or Bonderman.
The deal with Penny is expected to finish out the Tigers’ offseason dealings. Detroit is believed to be set with its position players, including invites, barring an unforeseen development. They briefly had interest in Fred Lewis earlier this offseason as a reserve outfielder, but talks didn’t progress far.
– Jason Beck
If the holidays are passed, it’s time for some previously ignored free agent pitchers to get some attention as the market whittles down and the rumor mill turns. Enter Jeremy Bonderman, who looks like he’s going to be able to call his spot where he’ll try to make a rotation this spring.
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News that they haven’t ruled out bringing back Bonderman, who would battle for the fifth spot in Spring Training. However, Foxsports.com reported Tuesday night that the Yankees have shown interest in Bonderman as they try to sort out their rotation.
Bonderman has been linked with a few other teams in need of starting pitching, though those rumors came earlier in the offseason. As the weeks wind down towards reporting dates for pitchers in camps, those teams are going to have to make.
Whatever teams are in it, Bonderman’s going to have a choice to make. He would love to stay in Detroit, to the point that he suggested during a low point last summer that he’d retire if he couldn’t get a deal with the Tigers in 2011. He quickly came to his senses and backtracked from that, but it underscores his affinity for the only Major League team he has known. But even in keeping the door open, the Tigers have talked with other free agent starters. If the Tigers signed another, such as Brad Penny, they wouldn’t have room for Bonderman.
– Jason Beck