MLB News: Indians sign Shaun Marcum to minor league deal

Free agent starter Shaun Marcum has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, reports FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi on Monday afternoon.

The Marcum signing comes on the heels of the Tribe signing another former Milwaukee Brewer in closer John Axford on Sunday.

Marcum, who turned 32 on Saturday, has been injury-prone throughout his career. He has made only 36 starts over the past two seasons. In 2013, he was dreadful for the New York Mets, finishing 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA after signing a $4 million contract.

When actually pitching, he had been fairly effective previously throughout his career. From 2008 through 2012 (he missed all of 2009 because of Tommy John surgery), he posted a 3.57 ERA. His 7.4 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 ratios were quite solid, and have remained steady.

The signing appears to be a great buy-low idea for the Indians. They’ve had a relatively quiet offseason, only spending significant money on Axford and outfielder David Murphy, but minor league deals can be zero-risk lottery tickets. Cleveland learned that this past year with Scott Kazmir, who recently signed a two-year $22 million deal with Oakland.

Notably, the Indians need to replace 61 starts from Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez, who also is expected to leave in free agency. GM Chris Antonetti is banking on health and bounceback seasons from Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin to fill the No. 5 starter gap. A flier on a guy like Marcum just is another potential option for that role.

[Related: John Axford – A Calculated Risk]

  • mgbode

    I’m a big fan of this signing. No, it is not likely going to change the season. But, it is all reward, no risk for a guy who has had some really nice seasons (excluding last year’s injury riddled campaign, of course).

    If he is healthy, then I can definitely envision him replicating or bettering what Kazmir gave us.

    Note: I was only not a fan of re-signing Kazmir because of the associated price-tag for a backend starter. On the other hand, getting a backend starter for virtually nothing is a great signing as Kazmir was last offseason.

  • nj0

    Typical Indians. Where’s the 40+HR, 120+ RBI 3B for league minimum?

  • nj0

    Did you cut and paste that from that one of our last dozen acquisitions?

  • nj0

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Cleveland became a desirable spot for pitchers trying to revive their once effective careers? If so, I may have to buy a Callaway jersey.

  • mgbode

    :)

    naw, Cloyd nor Banwart inspires great confidence of past performance. Marcum’s issues are injury-related. Apparently, severely enough that it completely scared off all MLB teams or he never would have accepted this deal, but there’s still some silver mixed in with that pocket lint.

  • left out

    i like both recent signings. marcum is only a mil if it doesn’t work out. that injury he had last year seemed odd so he may not make a comeback. and if ax can control that nasty split and 98 mph heat and get that stache goin, he could be a huge plus

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I saw this post and wondered if you were still keen on Marcum. I remembered you really wanted to grab him last season rather than Myers. I’m game to give him a shot. Let Mickey Callaway work his magic.

  • Steve

    So, he can opt out at the end of ST if he so desires. If there’s an opening in someone else’s rotation he’s gone. Maybe he has a leg up on a spot in the rotation if he can show anything decent in March.

  • ChadF

    When I saw his name floated about I immediately thought that this would be a perfect Shapiro/Antonetti move. Love it. He has always had a sub 4 ERA and a pretty low WHIP. When he’s healthy he’s an innings eater, so I hope it works out and he can stay healthy. If you get 2010 or 2011 Marcum he would easily slot between 2-4 in the rotation.

  • mgbode

    yes, and I am glad we didn’t grab him last offseason since he was obviously still injured and didn’t really get better (though it would have been better than Myers as it’d have saved us $3mil to use elsewhere). i’ve read some things online that intimate he might not pitch in MLB until June at the earliest, but it seems to all be speculation at this point.

    Cleveland Indians Pitching Theme:

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your tight shoulders yearning to move free;
    The wretched refuse of your ulnar tore,
    Send these, the homeless,
    Tempest-tossed to me
    Mickey shall fix them inside the bullpen door!

  • maxfnmloans

    that is fantastic.

    also, if they’re into wretched refuse, I hear Brandon Weeden might be available