Chris Antonetti was recently quoted saying that the Tribe is most likely done with their major moves this offseason.  Antonetti definitely deserves a round of applause for the moves he has made thus far.  He has addressed many of the team’s areas of need and has gotten the fan base excited again for 2013.  That being said, if there is any possible way he can manage to sign Shaun Marcum, I think he needs to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the acquisition of Brett Myers.  Myers is a widely known as a fierce competitor who can eat up a lot of innings and can provide a solid veteran presence in the clubhouse and in the pitching rotation.  However, the rotation still has a lot of question marks and Marcum could help to answer some of them.

Why Marcum?  First of all, he should come at a somewhat reasonable price in comparison to some of the other pitchers on the market.  The top pitcher left on the market is Kyle Lohse, who is coming off a career season with the Cardinals.  However, other than this past season, Lohse has had a pretty mediocre and inconsistent career.  Here are Lohse’s ERAs over his past 4 seasons: 4.74, 6.55, 3.39, 2.86.  Let’s compare that to what Marcum has done: 3.39, 3.64, 3.54, 3.70.  Marcum has clearly been more consistent in recent years.  Marcum has a career ERA of 3.76 and Lohse has a career ERA of 4.45.  Plus Marcum is 3 years younger than Lohse.  I’m not saying the Lohse won’t be good for the next couple of seasons, but he is not worth the marginal cost a team would pay in comparison to Marcum.

Now let’s take a closer look at Marcum’s statistics.  First of all Marcum has a career BB/9 of 2.77, and has never had a BB/9 over 3.00 since becoming a full time starter.  Anyone that followed the Tribe last year knows that command issues were a large part of the starting rotation’s struggles last year.  To put this in perspective, Justin Masterson had a BB/9 of 3.84 last season and Ubaldo Jimenez had a BB/9 of 4.84.  I also would like to point out that Marcum pitched his home games at hitter-friendly Miller Park for the past 2 seasons.  Let’s take a look at his home/road splits over the past two seasons:

2012 Home: 4.44 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .267 BAA

2012 Road: 3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .231 BAA

2011 Home: 4.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .259 BAA

2011 Road: 2.21 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, .202 BAA


There is a clear difference in performance here.  Miller Park actually led the National League with an average of 2.83 HR/game in 2012, while Progressive Field was tied for the third lowest in the American League with an average of 1.84 HR/game.  I think it’s pretty clear that Marcum and the Indians would both benefit greatly from him pitching his home games at Progressive Field in 2013.  Given the acquisitions we’ve already made, I realize this is probably wishful thinking.  However, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the Tribe’s front office thinks of it.


  • Steve Alex says:

    What do you think it would cost to sign Marcum? If fully healthy, his numbers suggest a pretty hefty contract both in years and annual average. The injury concerns last year obviously are a factor, but how much so? One year at less than 5 million seems awfully low for a player of his caliber, but the team probably can’t afford any more than that.

  • Ryan Pinheiro says:

    Based off of what others pitchers have earned this offseason, I don’t think anything under 10 million will sign Marcum. The Tribe did have talks with Marcum a couple days ago, but that was before the Brett Myers signing was official. I would expect them to keep a tab on him, and wait and see if he will lower his asking price if he continues to go unsigned. However, I would be surprised if a team doesn’t take a flyer on him sometime soon.

  • Portland Reign says:

    Reason why Proressive was third fewest was because the Indians didn’t hit many as a team. I am against signing Marcum,as it will be another contract that will linger way too long. I would rather see them bring in a bat for DH. E. Cabrera, McGuiness, McDade shouldn’t be our default DH this year.

    • Ryan Pinheiro says:

      You’re right when you say the Progressive Field’s low home run mark was in part due to the lack of power from the Tribe. However, it’s still definitely a better park to pitch in than Miller Park. Also I would not sign Marcum for anything longer than a 2-year deal due to his injury history. I think a large reason why he has gone unsigned thus far is because he is asking for a multi-year contract, which teams are shying away from. He will eventually have to agree to a shorter deal if this continues. Lastly, in terms of a DH, the vast majority of options for DH left on the free agent market will be inexpensive. If we do sign a DH, it would most likely be on an incentive laden deal. If we don’t sign anyone, Antonetti has been quoted saying that rotating bench players such as Aviles or Carrera is an option as more AL teams have actually done something similar to this in recent years.

    • Drew says:

      One thing that could be an interesting twist is that Ezekial Carrera was outside of Choo, the best lead-off hitter that Indians had in 2012. Brantley did his best work in the middle of the order, kipnis is better in the 2/3 and Stubbs is best at the bottom. Bat Cabrerra in the lead-off spot? That might not be that terrible of an idea, but he has really been an excellent #3.

  • Steve Alex says:

    They waived Canzler again and lost him to the Yankees, which tells me they are going to sign a DH. All that’s left is Rule 5 and waiver pickups. Shirley, they aren’t going into the season with a DH who was at AA last year, right?

  • Alex says:

    This team is only going to go as far as the starting rotation takes it. And right now, we have one of the worst rotations in the league, even after the Brett Myers signing. We need a guy like Marcum or even Joe Saunders (who is a lefty), but by the looks of it, management isn’t willing to dish out the money. With regards to the DH position, I have a feeling Travis Hafner will be brought back on a 1-year deal. I wouldn’t trust McGuinness or McDade as our full time DH.

  • Steve Alex says:

    Hafner? Ok, that takes care of 60-80 games. Who plays the rest?

  • Chris Burnham says:

    If Marcum (or Saunders) land here, there is going to be quite a competition for the fifth spot in the rotation. That can only be a positive.