The Pirates have patiently waited for the emergence of once pitching prospect Zach Duke, who owns a 4.52 ERA over six seasons. Duke always had high expectations after posting a 1.81 ERA through his first fourteen starts in the big leagues. Since then, he has never had a winning season and has double-digit losing totals in four of the past five seasons.
Duke is currently working with a 5.78 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP, highest in the majors among starters. He is making around 4 million dollars and the Pirates can't afford to match that in 2011 with his kind of numbers, making him a non-tender candidate this offseason.
Duke, 27, could still rebound which is why he will definitely be picked up if he is released. It can't get much worse than playing for the lowly Pirates, so he could have a resurgence if he, say, went out west and signed with the Padres or Giants.