Quick Hits: Marcum, Crede, Contraction

A few items of note for Thursday evening. On this day in 2005, the Committee on Government Reform held its now-infamous 11-hour hearing, during which former and current players such as Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa testified about steroid use in baseball.

  • Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum, acquired from the Blue Jays in an offseason trade, exited his Cactus League start due to shoulder tightness, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke acknowledged feeling concerned about the righty, and Olney described the potential situation as "not good." The Brewers have already lost ace Zack Greinke for a few starts after he suffered broken ribs in a pickup basketball game, and a potential injury to Marcum, though only speculation now, would be a major blow for a team expected to be in the thick of the NL Central race. Marcum, 29, missed all of 2009 with Toronto following Tommy John surgery in late 2008.
  • It's too soon to speculate about the severity of Marcum's injury or how much time he might miss, if any, but as our Free Agent Tracker shows, there wouldn't be much for Milwaukee to choose from in the event it should need a fill-in. Kevin Millwood and former Brewer Doug Davis are among the usual suspects, while Jeremy Bonderman is expected to sit out the season, and Jarrod Washburn hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009. The Phillies' Joe Blanton is thought to be on the trade block.
  • White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said yesterday that Joe Crede and agent Scott Boras made a poor decision in turning down a multiyear extension offer when the third baseman was with the South Siders. Today, Boras responded, saying that Crede's camp is the side that proposed the extension, not the other way around, writes Brett Ballantini of CSNChicago.com. Crede's career has been derailed by injuries, and he hasn't played in the Majors since spending 2009 with the Twins. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies this offseason but decided not to report to camp, becoming a free agent.
  • A person "involved in baseball labor" confirmed to Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Major League Baseball has considered a streamlining proposal, wherein the A's and Rays would be contracted, and owners Lew Wolff of Oakland and Stu Sternberg of Tampa Bay would buy the Dodgers and Mets, respectively. However, it is unlikely to transpire, according to Sherman, because baseball has enjoyed relative labor peace at a time when other sports leagues haven't, and the idea of contracting two teams would not sit well with the MLB Players Association — even if the owners conceded to preserving the jobs by expanding MLB rosters to 27.

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