Justin Duchscherer: Baltimore Orioles Sign Right-Handed Pitcher to One-Year Deal

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Justin Duchscherer: Baltimore Orioles Sign Right-Handed Pitcher to One-Year Deal
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Justin Duchscherer could be a solid pickup for the Orioles' rotation, as long as he stays healthy.

The Orioles have agreed to sign free-agent starting pitcher Justin Duchscherer to a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

Duchscherer will make a base salary of $700K guaranteed, and another $1.1 million when he makes the roster, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. To obtain the entire $4.5 million on the contract, he'll then have to make at least 30 starts at the major-league level.

It was heard earlier Sunday that Duchscherer had narrowed down his list to the Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Washington Nationals, with the Mariners dropping out of consideration shortly thereafter.

Over 32 starts (194 2/3 innings pitched), he has a 14-11 record with a 3.01 ERA, all but his first two with the Oakland Athletics.

Though primarily a reliever throughout his career (3.22 ERA in 260.1 innings pitched) as 2008 was his only full season as a starter (22 starts), he will be expected to help solidify a young Orioles rotation with his 33 year-old veteran presence, something that shouldn't be hard as long as he can stay healthy.

A couple of factors were involved in the pitcher's decision to sign with Baltimore, including his desire to be near his son, who lives in southern New Jersey, and remain a starting pitcher, a role the Orioles could guarantee him, as the point of his signing is to help provide stability to the young rotation.

Duchscherer, who is known as a control artist, missed all of the 2009 season and made only five starts during his 2010 campaign due to elbow problems, hip surgery, and depression.

The deal is pending a physical, which he is slated to take sometime in the middle of this week, weather permitting.

He had scheduled another throwing session for major league teams to view him throw on Tuesday, but that obviously won't be needed at this point.

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