Shaun Marcum Rumors
8:36am: Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders is talking to the Orioles, Mariners, and Padres according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Pirates also had interest, but the Francisco Liriano signing presumably takes them out of the running.
Saunders, 31, pitched to a 4.07 ERA in 174 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks and Orioles this season. He posted his typically low strikeout (5.8 K/9) and walk (2.0 BB/9) rates to go along with the lowest full season ground ball rate of his career (43.1%). MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked the veteran southpaw as the 25th best free agent available this winter, predicting he would re-sign with Baltimore.
The Mets are exploring trades and contacting free agents as they look to add depth to a rotation that no longer includes R.A. Dickey, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. The Mets have reached out to many free agent starters, including Chris Young and Shaun Marcum. Davidoff reported yesterday that the Mets are also interested in free agents Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano.
The Mets have interest in Dodgers starters Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, Davidoff reports (Twitter link). The Dodgers figure to trade at least one starting pitcher after signing Zack Greinke, so Capuano or Harang could be dealt. The Mets have engaged the Dodgers in trade talks about their starting pitching depth, according to the Post.
GM Sandy Alderson continues searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Davidoff writes. The Mets would prefer to add an outfielder capable of playing right field so they can move Lucas Duda to left. Scott Hairston and Cody Ross are potential targets for the Mets. However signing those players could be challenging, since the Mets have approximately $10MM to spend.
If Ryan Dempster signs with the Red Sox, the Brewers might not pursue other free agent starters, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Melvin indicated free agent starters have shown limited reciprocal interest, according to Haudricourt. "This may be one of those years when we don't do too much,” the GM said. “We're still looking at relievers but we might see if we get a surprise in Spring Training.” Here are the details on the team’s search for starting pitching...
- Though Shaun Marcum recently indicated he’d consider returning to Milwaukee, Melvin said he hasn’t talked to the right-hander’s agent. Marcum hadn’t been on the Brewers’ radar, Haudricourt reports. “I always thought he'd engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will," Melvin said.
- Melvin confirmed that he offered Dempster a two-year contract and said he hasn’t heard back from the right-hander’s agent. "It doesn't appear that he'll be coming to Milwaukee," Melvin acknowledged.
- There’s “some intrigue” with respect to right-hander Edwin Jackson. The Brewers spoke with Jackson’s agent, though it doesn’t sound as though talks developed from there.
On today’s edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast, Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts and I discussed the Indians-Reds-Diamondbacks trade, the Yankees’ recent signings and the latest rumors. Click here to listen in and continue reading for some notes from around MLB...
- The Mets will pay David Wright $3.1MM annually from 2021-2025 as part of the deferred payments from his new contract extension, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. The money is deferred without interest.
- The Red Sox will pay the Dodgers a total of $11.7MM over the next three years as the cash component of their August blockbuster trade according to the AP (via ESPN). Boston will make identical payments of $3.9MM in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
- Utility man Mark DeRosa told ESPN's Jim Bowden that his first choice is to re-sign with the Nationals (Twitter link). The 37-year-old free agent has hit .220/.309/.269 in 302 plate appearances while battling injuries over the last three seasons.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports argues that the Yankees' strategy of slightly overpaying for free agents on one-year deals hasn't resulted in an improved team this offseason. Morosi wonders why GM Brian Cashman hasn't obtained a power bat for the outfield such as Justin Upton, Jason Kubel or Michael Morse.
- We're seeing more teams prey on the desperation of others in trades now that Wild Card berths seem so attainable, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
- A rival executive expects the Rangers could obtain Upton from Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers if they are willing to part with Elvis Andrus, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). “I don't think KT will do it for less," the person said. Towers has said it’s “highly unlikely" that he moves Upton.
- Shaun Marcum said on MLB Network Radio that he's open to re-signing with the Brewers, Jim Bowden reports (on Twitter). The Twins, Royals, Padres and Cubs have been linked to the right-hander in the past month or so.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
10:42am: In addition to the pitchers listed below, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) identifies Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum, Brandon McCarthy, Jair Jurrjens, and Carl Pavano as potential targets for the Twins. Pavano is said to be drawing interest from five teams, including the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
9:52am: As they look to shore up their starting rotation, the Twins have offers out to Joe Saunders and Francisco Liriano, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Twins are waiting to hear back from the two left-handers and may have offers out to other pitchers, says Neal.
According to Neal, there are seven other teams that also have interest in Liriano.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has been sharing a few Winter Meetings nuggets on this Twitter feed this morning, so let's dive right in and round them up (all links go to Twitter)....
- Heyman classifies both Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera as very available, as the Indians search for long-term assets.
- The Red Sox are very active this week and are willing to discuss anyone, even Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester.
- Ten teams are in on Jason Grilli, as the market for the right-handed reliever heats up. Grilli tweeted early this morning that he was heading for Nashville and has a "full day" on tap.
- The Royals are "one of many" teams looking at Shaun Marcum, who is a Kansas City product.
Teams are calling the Astros on Bud Norris, tweets Yahoo's Jeff Passan, and Houston is listening. The Royals reached out to the Astros on Norris, and they've also got interest in free agent Shaun Marcum, writes Passan.
As a first time arbitration eligible player, the inconsistent Norris is under team control for three more years and projects to earn $2.9MM in 2013. Norris, 28 in March, posted a 4.65 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9, and 39.2% groundball rate in 168 1/3 innings this year, struggling mightily away from Minute Maid Park. The Astros have another asset in shortstop Jed Lowrie. GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters today he's getting offers on Lowrie, but a trade is unlikely.
The Royals added some decent-sized commitments for Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie this year, and they also tendered a contract to Luke Hochevar. Still, as GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star today about their search for a front-rotation starter, "We’re trying to upgrade with guys who will make a major difference to our team. How many opportunities do you get to do that? Not many."
Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..
- The Dodgers are letting teams know that shortstop Dee Gordon is available, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. Gordon could represent a fallback option for teams who lose out on Stephen Drew. Earlier today, we learned five teams are in on Drew.
- The Giants are looking for a center fielder and are talking to Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, and Shane Victorino, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
- The Angels are aren't acting like they're confident of landing Zack Greinke, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels seem to be trolling for much cheaper starting pitching options like Ryan Dempster and Shaun Marcum, as opposed to Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse.
- The Dodgers' shopping list includes Greinke, a fourth outfielder that can play center, and a backup corner infielder, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick also says negotiations continue with lefty reliever Randy Choate.
- Padres GM Josh Byrnes doesn't expect to be very busy during the Winter Meetings, reports Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I expect to do one thing, maybe two," said Byrnes. "I’m not expecting to do a lot. We’re filling the holes, not roster reshaping." The Padres are looking for starting pitching and have depth at the corner outfield slots, in the bullpen, and at middle infield. The names most often mentioned as possible trade chips, according to Center, are Luke Gregerson, Joe Thatcher, and Jesus Guzman.
- The Rangers are interested in talking with the Mets about R.A. Dickey at the Winter Meetings this week, a source tells T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. The Rangers aren't alone in having interest in the knuckleballer as the Mets have taken calls from six or seven teams looking to swing a trade. The Mets are expected to look for outfield help and catching in a deal.
- The Rockies are considering a run at left-hander Daniel Schlereth as they look to improve their bullpen, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The 26-year-old became a free agent this week when he was non-tendered by the Tigers.
- The Rockies are looking to restore their rotation, but not rebuild it entirely, writes Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. The club will look to bolster their starting five with a veteran presence and they are known to have interest in free agent right-hander Kevin Correia.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune shares a few Padres hot stove items in his weekly chat with readers...
- The Padres are interested in Dan Haren, though "it's going to be a wait and see game" if Haren is available in San Diego's price range. We've heard that teams are hesitant to offer Haren more than two years due to lingering questions about Haren's health, so the Padres could get an edge by offering Haren two years (or even two years with an option). Haren is from southern California and has "an excellent working relationship" with Padres GM Josh Byrnes from their time together with the Diamondbacks.
- Shaun Marcum is the Padres' secondary pitching target after Haren, Center reports.
- Center thinks the Padres are more likely to acquire a starting pitcher in a trade rather than in free agency, which fits with what Byrnes told MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier this month at the General Managers' meetings. Center thinks if the Padres traded for a lower-tier, "classic risk-reward acquisition" pitcher like Ubaldo Jimenez, the club could have more payroll space left to sign the likes of a Haren.
- The Padres aren't likely to pick up a major bat this winter, Center believes.
- Center also shoots down the likelihood of the Padres trading for Giancarlo Stanton, Jeremy Hellickson and Ricky Nolasco, with the first two carrying too great a cost in prospects while Nolasco is too expensive and only under contract through 2013.
The Cubs are seeking starting pitching this winter and are targeting buy-low candidates poised for rebound seasons, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times. They've already expressed some interest in Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum.
"I think the contracts we signed last winter are a good model," said GM Jed Hoyer. "I think we have a chance to maybe sign more of those this year with a little bit more money to spend ... We might be able to sign more contracts like that or maybe even a little larger than last year, but I think it’s a good model of contract that really served us well."
The Cubs signed Paul Maholm to a one-year, $4.75MM contract with club option last winter before flipping him for prospects at the trade deadline. David DeJesus signed a two-year, $10MM deal last offseason and could be moved for more prospects at some point either this offseason or prior to the trade deadline.
Both McCarthy, 29, and Marcum, 30, have battled injuries these last two seasons but have otherwise pitched well. McCarthy owns a 3.29 ERA in 281 2/3 innings since the start of last year while Marcum is at a 3.60 ERA in 324 2/3 innings during the same time. Both right-handers could seek one-year contracts to rebuild value in hopes of landing a bigger payday next winter, which would suit Chicago well.
The Cubs tried to acquire Dan Haren last week, only to have the deal fall apart at the last minute. The Angels declined his option and made him a free agent, so the right-hander could still be a target for the Cubbies if the price is right. Last night Haren's agent declared his client healthy following speculation that the trade fell apart due to concerns about his back.