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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Yankees pursue Justin Duchscherer

By Jerry Crasnick
ESPN.com

The New York Yankees, still in the market for pitching help, are stepping up their pursuit of free agent Justin Duchscherer, a baseball source told ESPN.com.

Duchscherer, 33, has a career record of 33-25 with a 3.13 ERA in eight seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. He made the American League All-Star team as a reliever with Oakland in 2005 and again as a starter in 2008.

Duchscherer, who suffered from clinical depression during his time in Oakland and ultimately overcame his struggles, has thrown only 28 innings over the past two seasons because of a variety of injuries.

It's uncertain whether the Yankees are looking at Duchscherer as a starter or a reliever. With Andy Pettitte reportedly leaning toward retirement, New York's projected starting rotation currently consists of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the first four spots, with a multitude of candidates for the fifth spot.

The Yankees have recently been linked to Jeremy Bonderman and Jeff Francis, two other free agents who, like Duchscherer, are coming back from injuries that disrupted promising careers.

Senior writer Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.