Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Agent Option: Shaun Marcum

Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte are still deciding if they want to come back to New York and we should hear soon about what their plans for 2013 are. If both come back the Yankees are pretty much set in the rotation, but if even one of them doesn't, the front office will probably have to go out and make a move. It will be tough to win as many games in 2012 if they decide to roll the dice with both David Phelps and Ivan Nova in their starting rotation.

(AP Photo)
The problem is that the team wants to get below the $189 million threshold by the 2014 season so they can save a ton of money. The further we go along, the more this plan becomes annoying, but that's a different topic for a different day. So if the Yanks do have a spot to fill, it's unlikely they will go after an Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson because they will command multi-year deals, but rather someone on a one-year pillow deal looking to re-build value. Someone like Shaun Marcum.

Pros

  • Despite being hurt this for a couple of months this year, Marcum was effective for the Brewers when on the bump. He pitched to a 3.70 ERA and a 4.10 FIP over 124 innings along with a solid 2.66 K/BB ratio. The injury will probably force him to take a one year deal, which is probably exactly what the Bombers are looking for.
  • Marcum also does have a track record of success. His two best years were 2010 and 2011in which he made more than 30 starts each and pitched to ERA's and FIP's below four. 
  • Marcum does also has had decent succes in the American League East as late as 2010 with the Blue Jays. He came up with Toronto and was one of their better starters in the late 2000's posting a 3.85 ERA in almost 600 innings.
  • He will also be turning 31 in December so they won't be getting someone who is too far out of their theoretical prime.
Cons
  • Marcum is no stranger to long ball allowing 1.16 per nine innings in 2012 and 1.22 for his entire career. He's not much of a ground ball pitcher either (career 35.4% clip), which means he probably won't be the best fit for Yankee Stadium.
  • The right-hander is also not a stranger to the disabled list. He missed almost two months this year with an elbow problem, which wouldn't be too big of a deal if he hadn't just had Tommy John surgery back in 2009. Even though it would probably only be a one year deal, it's still something of a red flag.
  • If Kuroda doesn't sign back, the Bombers will need some stability for their rotation and Marcum isn't really the guy for that.
There's a good amount to like about Marcum and some to dislike about him, just like with any player. If they don't get one of Kuroda or Pettitte, he wouldn't be a bad option on a one year deal perhaps with an option, but hopefully it doesn't come to that.

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