The Orioles were looking for a starter.
They got one in 33-year-old right-hander Justin Duchscherer, whom they signed Sunday night to a one-year deal pending a physical, which likely will be Tuesday or Wednesday.
Duchscherer is an interesting risk, in my opinion. The guy knows how to pitch. He doesn't throw hard, but he mixes it up and throws strikes. He has a near 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his career, and he has represented the Oakland Athletics on the American League All-Star team as both a reliever and a starter.
But he has battled health issues for much of his career. He has had three surgeries on his hips (two on his right and one, last June, on his left). He has made just five starts in the past two seasons and only 32 in his career.
It's why the Orioles structured the big league contract the way they did. He'll get $700,000 in base salary, and that will move up $1.1 million when he makes the 25-man roster. He then has incentive bonuses based on the number of starts that would make his contract worth $4.5 million if he makes 30 starts.
He is not being viewed as a reliever, so, technically, he'll be fighting for a rotation spot in spring. But if he is healthy, he'll have a spot. That simple. And that means one of the young guys, most likely Chris Tillman, will head back to Triple-A, assuming everyone else is healthy.
The way I look at it, competition is good. And the contract protects the team while rewarding Duchscherer if he stays healthy and produces. But I know some of you want the young starters to learn at the major league level since they have all shown they can handle Triple-A.
So I want your opinion here. Do you like this move?
Daily Think Special: Do you like the Justin Duchscherer signing?