A's to sign Duchscherer, eye Springer

The Oakland Athletics' efforts Saturday appear to have gone a long way toward shoring up their pitching staff.

Oakland and right-handed starter Justin Duchscherer, the club's last remaining roster player eligible for arbitration, avoided a salary arbitration hearing, reaching agreement on a one-year, guaranteed $3.9 million contract, according to his agent.

And the A's were in the process of hammering out a one-year deal with reliever Russ Springer, a union source told ESPN The Magazine senior baseball writer Buster Olney.

Springer's deal is said to be worth about $3 million and a physical examination is pending, the source said.

Duchscherer, 31, posted a 10-8 record with a 2.54 ERA in 22 starts last season. The two-time All-Star underwent minor hip surgery in September, but expects to be ready for spring training. He also had hip surgery in July 2007.

Springer, a 40-year-old right-hander, pitched in 70 games for the Cardinals last season, with a 2.32 ERA.

A 16-year veteran setup man, Springer is 35-41 in 664 career appearances with seven teams. He has a 4.55 career ERA in 797 2/3 innings.

Duchscherer's contract includes an additional $150,000 in incentive bonuses if he makes 32 starts, said agent Damon Lapa. The bonuses could increase the overall value of the deal to $4.05 million.

Duchscherer had been asking for $4.6 million in arbitration, while the Athletics had offered $3 million. The two sides settled for a figure $100,000 above the midpoint.

The A's agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year deal with designated hitter and outfielder Jack Cust on Jan. 14, leaving only Duchscherer's situation left to be settled.

Information from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and The Associated Press was used in this report.