This afternoon the Oakland Athletics designated 26-year old LHP-Jay Marshall for assignment. The A’s needed to make room on the 40-man roster for 32-year old RHP-Justin Duchscherer who was resigned to a 1-year contract. Both players elicit a reaction from a Royals’ standpoint.
Duchscherer’s contract is believed to be worth around $2 million with an additional $3.5 million possible by way of incentives. He didn’t pitch during the 2009 season as he was recovering from elbow surgery and getting treated for clinical depression.
In 2008 he started 22 games and finished the year with a 2.54 ERA, 0.995 WHIP, 2.79 SO/BB, and ERA+ of 163 in 141.2 IP. For his career he has a 3.14 ERA, 1.123 WHIP, 3.02 SO/BB, and 138 ERA+ in 426.2 IP. Most of his 219 appearances have come out of the bullpen, but 27 of have been as a starter.
Based on all of the above, one has to wonder if Kansas City ever really took a look at him. As a starter or as a reliever, he would have been an enormous upgrade for the Royals. He could have been a stabilizing piece of the bullpen or possibly rotation in 2010 and beyond. If he pitched well, but it became clear that he wouldn’t sign beyond the 2010 season with the Royals, he could have been moved at the deadline for prospects. Worst case scenario, he would have been ineffective and not worth keeping around. If that scenario were to play out the team would have been out $3-4 million, assuming it would have taken more* to bring him to KC. Just $3-4 million down the drain during a 2010 season that only has value from a development and team building aspect.
*One has to wonder if the Royals would have been an appealing option for Justin based on the organization’s handling of Zack Greinke. Maybe it wouldn’t have factored into the initial deal, but maybe it would have mattered if the Royals and Duchscherer wanted to pursue a second deal. The world will never know.
As we trudged into the offseason the proper mode of operation seemed pretty clear. Dayton Moore and the organization needed to identify low-risk, low-cost, high-reward, and high-upside talent and acquire them through the necessary means. Justin Duchscherer was just such a player. As the calendar turns to 2010 in just a couple days, Dayton has made none of these moves. Instead we have the Teahen trade, a handful of minor league contracts, a Rule-5 selection, and the questionable signings of Jason Kendall and Brian N. Anderson.
So what about LHP-Jay Marshall?
He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 25th round of the 2002 draft and will turn 27 in February. Marshall has 49.1 ML innings on his resume with a 7.66 ERA, 1.723 WHIP, and 0.86 SO/BB. His minor league resume is far more impressive but his greatest success came in the lower levels. In 341.0 IP he has a 2.85 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 3.21 SO/BB. 2009 was his first full season in Triple-A and in 50.2 IP he had a 3.20 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 2.00 SO/BB.
He’s 6’5″ and was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but beyond that there isn’t much intrigue for the Royals when it comes to Jay Marshall. Justin Duchscherer, on the other hand, could have really contributed something to this team.