Shaun Marcum Rumors

NL East Notes: McCann, Phillies, Oswalt, Mets

Here's the latest from around the NL East…


Mets Notes: Marcum, Alderson, Payroll

Earlier today, the Mets formally introduced Shaun Marcum to the press and later on, General Manager Sandy Alderson's fielded questions from season ticket holders.  Here's a look at some highlights..

  • Marcum is the premier pitcher to join the Mets this winter but he says that replacing the production of R.A. Dickey will require a team effort and the responsibility doesn't fall squarely on his shoulders, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.  The right-handed hurler believes that if he and the rest of the Mets' starting five can stay healthy and shoot for 200+ innings, it'll go a long way towards filling the void.
  • The 31-year-old would have liked to have sign a multi-year deal this winter, but “nothing came about.”  However, there wasn't a lack of interest for Marcum as he says 15-20 teams pursued him to some degree, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
  • Alderson insists that the Mets have money to spend this season and in the coming years, but they intend on being careful about how they go about it, according to the Mets' Twitter feed.
  • Marcum says he isn't feeling any residual effects from the elbow tightness that cost him nine weeks of play over the summer.
  • The opportunity to make thirty starts was a plus for Marcum (via Mets on Twitter) as well as his history with J.P. Ricciardi (Rubin on Twitter).
  • Vice President of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta opined that the Mets have one of the best pitching farm systems in MLB and says that they now have added some impact bats in the last couple of drafts (Twitter link).

Mets Sign Shaun Marcum

The Mets have fortified their rotation with their first major signing of the offseason. The team announced the signing of free agent right-hander Shaun Marcum to a one-year deal. The Turner Gary Sports client obtains a $4MM guarantee with the chance to earn another $4MM in incentives.

The right-hander joins a rotation that includes Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Matt Harvey. Right-handed prospects Jenrry Mejia and Zack Wheeler could also contribute to the Mets in 2013, but they no longer seem likely to begin the season in the rotation. Defending NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey will no longer be the team's number one starter, as the Mets dealt him to Toronto.

Marcum pitched for the Brewers this past season, posting a 3.70 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 35.4% ground ball rate in 124 innings over the course of 21 starts. The 31-year-old missed approximately two months due to elbow tightness in 2012 and his average fastball velocity remained well below 90 mph at 86.5 mph. Marcum, who joined the Brewers in a trade with Toronto following the 2010 season, has a career ERA of 3.76 with 7.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 38.7% ground ball rate in seven MLB seasons.

Marcum ranked 19th on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents entering the offseason. He has also been linked to the IndiansMetsTwins and Royals at various points this winter. Marcum, who’s not linked to draft pick compensation, didn't appear to draw substantial interest from Brewers.

The Mets had also been linked to free agent starters such as Carl Pavano and Chris Young this offseason. Their interest in adding pitching depth might now be diminished, but GM Sandy Alderson figures to consider adding to his outfield if possible.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported the agreement (Twitter links) and  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports added the financial terms (on Twitter).



West Notes: Ethier, Marcum, Ruggiano, Ankiel

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been the subject of trade rumors all winter, but the veteran isn't buying into the notion that he'll be playing elsewhere come Opening Day, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times“I haven’t looked too much into it,” Ethier said. “It’s something I see as rumors. I think Ned was pretty quick to say there was nothing to it. That was enough to ease my mind, even though obviously there was a lot following that."

Here's the latest news and headlines from both the AL and NL West…

  • The Mariners and Rangers both had discussions with Shaun Marcum before the veteran elected to sign with the Mets, writes Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com (via Twitter). As a result, each team remains in the hunt for starting pitching.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has some regrets for trading Justin Ruggiano to the Marlins last spring, but likes the player he received in Jobduan Morales, says Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (on Twitter). 
  • Houston manager Bo Porter believes Rick Ankiel will make the big league roster out of Spring Training if he can play up to his potential, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. “He will add leadership. He will add a veteran presence in the lineup. You look at his ability to play defense, I watched him make some throws and make some catches that make you shake your head. This guy’s phenomenal.”

Mets Notes: Marcum, Bourn, Alderson

Yesterday, the Mets finally made their first major free agent addition of the offseason when they inked Shaun Marcum to a one-year, $4MM deal with another $4MM in incentives.  Here's more on the right-hander and other news out of Queens..

  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter) has the breakdown of Marcum's incentives package.  The hurler can earn $1.75MM in roster bonuses and $2.25MM more in bonuses for innings pitched going all the way up to 200.
  • The Mets need a center fielder, but Jay Schreiber of the New York Times highly doubts that it will be free agent Michael Bourn.  Schreiber writes that the Mets would likely be headed for another fourth-place finish in 2013, even with the addition of the 30-year-old.  He also wonders aloud if the club's flirtation with Bourn is at least partly designed to make it seem as if the Mets are trying to do something major, even though they know its a longshot.
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs likes the Mets' signing of Marcum and sees it as a solid bargain for GM Sandy Alderson & Co.  Marcum missed significant time last season due to an elbow issue but posted a 3.70 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 across 21 starts.

Joe Saunders Rumors: Wednesday

Joe Saunders is the top left-handed starter available in free agency based on MLBTR’s list of the offseason’s top 50 free agents. Here’s the latest on Saunders, who ranked 25th on Tim Dierkes’ list entering the offseason…

  • The Twins are pursuing Saunders, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). They’ve had interest in Saunders throughout the offseason, and made him an offer at one point.
  • The Padres are not in on Saunders or Shaun Marcum and haven't been all winter, MLB.com's Corey Brock reports (on Twitter).

Padres, Pirates, Rangers Interested In Shaun Marcum

Shaun Marcum is drawing interest from the Padres, Pirates and Rangers, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Turner Gary Sports represents the free agent right-hander.

Marcum pitched for the Brewers this past season, posting a 3.70 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 35.4% ground ball rate in 124 innings over the course of 21 starts. The 31-year-old missed approximately two months due to elbow tightness in 2012 and his average fastball velocity remained well below 90 mph at 86.5 mph. Marcum, who joined the Brewers in a trade with Toronto following the 2010 season, has a career ERA of 3.76 with 7.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 38.7% ground ball rate in seven MLB seasons.

Marcum ranked 19th on MLBTR’s list of top 50 free agents entering the offseason. He has also been linked to the Indians, Mets, Twins and Royals at various points this winter. Marcum, who’s not linked to draft pick compensation, probably won’t re-sign with the Brewers.


Quick Hits: Wells, Kinsler, Phillies, Robertson

MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Rangers, the Indians and offseason qualifying offers on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings Podcast. Click here to listen in.  Here are some news items from around the baseball world…

  • The Mets are one of three teams interested in right-hander Kip Wells, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich.  Wells, 35, posted a 4.58 ERA, a 4.6 K/9 rate and a 4.8 BB/9 rate in seven starts for the Padres last season, the first time Wells had pitched in the Majors since 2009.  Wells has pitched for nine different clubs over his 12-year career.
  • Ian Kinsler has reversed course and told Rangers management that he would prefer to remain at second base, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Kinsler said he was open to a position change back in November but has since decided that he isn't comfortable moving off second at this point in his career.  Had Kinsler been willing to move to first base, Texas could have explored using Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus as the team's double-play combo.
  • The incentive details of Mike Adams' and John Lannan's contracts with the Phillies are outlined by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Nate Robertson is looking for a spot in a Major League training camp as a left-handed relief specialist, Robertson's agent Steve Canter tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  The 35-year-old Robertson's last Major League appearance came in 2010 and he has spent the last two seasons pitching in the minors for the Mariners, Cubs and Blue Jays.  Robertson could find success as a specialist given that he has held left-handed hitters to a .695 OPS over his nine-year career.
  • Shaun Marcum is still without a team and Fangraphs' Mike Axisa examines why the market for the free agent right-hander has yet to develop.  Marcum was ranked as the 19th-best free agent of the offseason by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes earlier this winter, though three players higher on the list than Marcum (Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano) are also still available.
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the list of minor league transactions from the first week of January.
  • Mike Trout unsurprisingly headlines the list of the 25 best players under the age of 25 as compiled by ESPN's Keith Law.  Trout and the other three players atop Law's list delivered a historically great performance that compares to the all-time best quartets of young hitters, as noted by ESPN's Dave Cameron.  (An ESPN Insider subscription is required for both pieces.)

Indians Have Talked With Shaun Marcum

The Indians have had dialogue with free agent starter Shaun Marcum, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  However, it’s not yet clear how today’s signing of Brett Myers will impact their pursuit of Marcum (Twitter link).

Marcum, ranked No. 19 on Tim Dierkes’ list of Top 50 Free Agents, has also received interest from the Mets, Twins, Padres, and Cubs.  The 32-year-old missed a good chunk of last season thanks to shoulder stiffness at the beginning of the year and later on had elbow tightness which cost him more than two months.  In 21 starts, Marcum posted a 3.70 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 for the Brewers.


Padres Notes: Myers, Porcello, Headley, Cabrera

Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune is back with his regular chat with fans about the Padres, and here are some of the relevant hot stove items…

  • The Padres have been talking to right-hander Brett Myers, according to Myers' agent.  San Diego would use Myers as a starting pitcher, which is Myers' preferred role after spending 2012 coming out of the bullpen for the Astros and White Sox.
  • The Tigers are reconsidering trading Rick Porcello, who has drawn attention from the Padres and several other clubs since Detroit re-signed Anibal Sanchez.  If Porcello is available, Center feels it would take more than a rumored trade package of Luke Gregerson and Jesus Guzman for the Padres to acquire the right-hander.
  • It's a "gamble on both sides" for Chase Headley and the Padres that there are apparently no extension talks taking place between the club and the third baseman.  Headley is under team control for two more years, but a repeat of his 2012 numbers could make him too expensive for the Padres to lock up.
  • Everth Cabrera has drawn trade interest but most clubs (including the Padres) aren't sure if he is capable of being an everyday shortstop.  Center notes that San Diego has been shopping "several" of its middle infielders this winter.
  • The Padres are "actively seeking" starting pitching but aren't going to be forced into making a bad signing just for the sake of adding an arm to the rotation. 
  • Between Porcello, Shaun Marcum and Joe Saunders, Center lists Marcum as the most likely of the trio to be a Padre in 2013, followed by Saunders and Porcello in that order. 
  • The Padres won't be adding another outfielder as they already have several options on the roster.
  • Center doesn't expect the Padres to have a $100MM payroll within the next few years, even adding an "if ever" to the idea.
  • The Padres want to bring back Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer on minor league contracts.  The two pitchers elected to become free agents in October following injury-plagued 2012 seasons.
  • Center hasn't heard of the Padres having any interest in Carlos Zambrano.