Now that Clint Hurdle is the Pittsburgh Pirates' new manager, it's no surprise that the team is looking at several former Rockies to add, including Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis. Well, now the Rockies should look at a Pirate who was recently designated for assignment, Zach Duke. Duke made a nice debut in 2005 (1.81 ERA in 14 starts), but he's never been able to build on that success since then.
Duke would have made somewhere around $5 million in arbitration in 2011 (he made $4.3 million in 2010), which would have been a bit too much to give to a pitcher who has never pitched commensurate to that level. However, a team like the Rockies could sign him to a minor-league contract and invite him to spring training to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Duke has a career 48.9 percent groundball rate, which is the type of pitcher the Rockies like. Add the Rockies' defense behind him and Duke could be a good reclamation project in 2011.