On Monday night, the Indians signed free agent RHP Shaun Marcum  to a minor league contract with a non-roster invite to major league Spring Training camp.  Marcum kind of joins three clubs at once: the Indians ballclub, the Indians-Pitchers-Who’ve-Had-Tommy-John-Surgery Club (other members include Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco), and the Mickey-Callaway-Special-Projects Club (graduates include Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez, other 2014 club members include Vinnie Pestano and Trevor Bauer).

Marcum turned 32 on December 14 and has compiled a career major league record of 58-46 (.558) with a 3.88 ERA (995.0 IP, 925 H, .245 AVG), 303 BB and 806 SO in 188 games/161 starts for Toronto (2005-10), Milwaukee (2011-12), and the New York Mets (2013). He was selected by the Blue Jays in the third round of the 2003 June draft.  The departing Jimenez and Kazmir pitched a combined 340.2 innings for the Tribe during 2013–that’s a lot of innings to replace. When he’s healthy, Marcum can give you a fair number of innings. He compiled more than 150 innings in four of five seasons from 2007-11, including a career-high 200.2 innings pitched in 2011 (and his 195.1 innings in 2010 are a close second. He missed the 2009 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Marcum had a one-year contract with the Mets for 2013, but began the season on the DL with a pinched nerve in his neck.  He didn’t start  his first game until April 27, with a loss to the Phillies. He was limited to 14 games/12 starts for the Mets in 2013 and ended up with a dismal 1-10 record and 5.29 ERA. His season ended on July 10 with surgery on his right shoulder to correct thoracic outlet syndrome.

If Marcum does not make the Opening Day roster, he can opt out of the contract. Masterson, Kluber, and McAllister are the definites for the starting rotation. Salazar is the most likely candidate for the #4 slot. If Marcum can beat out Josh Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco for the last spot in the rotation, great. If not, no harm done to either party. Welcome to the clubs, Shaun.


  • DaveR says:

    Minor league non-roster Spring invitee, nothing to hate about that. I don’t think his story is similar to Kazmir’s though. Most likely won’t make the club.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    Marcum’s recovery from the thoracic outlet surgery is expected to be complete by spring training, and there is precedent for pitchers coming back from that injury (Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman, Matt Harrison to name a few). Marcum is a solid 13 win/3.80 ERA guy when healthy. I hope he makes the team, because he’d make the rotation more credible and bolster the bullpen by relegating Tomlin and Carrasco to middle/long relief.

  • medfest says:

    When Marcum is healthy he pitches well.
    He’s got a bit of a funky delivery where the ball comes out of his shoulder,kinda like Jensen Lewis did.
    It’s not a bad gamble with him at all.
    Salazar is no dead solid lock,McAllister and Kluber both had finger problems that could crop up again,hell,Masterson has been inconsistent year to year.
    The more the merrier I say,you can’t ever have enough pitching!

    • Sean Porter says:

      Amen to that, medfest.

      I’d like to be optimistic about Bauer and his alleged good work with his delivery, but I can’t until I see results. I have no interest in seeing Carlos Carrasco ever start for the Tribe again, but fully believe he could be a very good reliever – a la Jose Mesa and his transformation from below-average starter to very good reliever.

  • Levi McGuire says:

    Upon watching video of him pitch, he reminds me a lot of David Huff just from the other direction. His delivery is pretty clean, doesn’t hide the ball necessarily and he is a large contact to out pitcher. If he makes the rotation, he’ll be an incredibly cheap option much like Kaz was, I just won’t necessarily be ecstatic if he does. Also, am I the only one troubled by the fact that our rotation is about to be right all right handers again?

    • medfest says:

      The whole pitching staff is right handed except for “Scrabble”.He might set a new team record for games pitched.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    Come on, wake up. Lots of moves to talk about. We finally got the Out Man to fill the 2nd lefty spot. Rich Hill, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out. Jason Knapp is making a comeback, maybe with the Tribe. Stubbs, we barely knew ya. Treaner signed to be the C3/bullpen catcher. Diamond Lou Marson ran home to momma (Philly). Maybe Charlie Manuel can turn him into that 20HR hitter he promised (gag). The team is shaping up. Do they have one more bullet left? Hey, how about that Scott Boras! He talked Choo into turning down 7/140 from the Yanks, and now he can’t get anyone to offer more than 5 yrs. LOL.

  • bill says:

    Ive been wondering for awhile why no one seems to be talking about Paul Maholm as back end of the rotation help?