Believe it or not, it’s been a busy week around here, thank you very much, Ben Cherington, meaning that the odd item has managed to slipped through the cracks– which, of course, is just a more delicate way of saying, here’s something that happened on Tuesday that I haven’t bothered to get around to until now.

With the Jays’ need to acquire starting pitching help so bloody obvious that even the normally tight-lipped Alex Anthopoulos is open about it, a lot of names have been tossed around among fans as potential fits– and potential free agents who might actually be interested in taking the Jays money.

An obvious one that folks keep coming back to is Shaun Marcum, who, of course, cut his teeth with the Jays before being dealt to Milwaukee for Brett Lawrie.

Marcum, of course, isn’t without warts. He very publicly turned into a pumpkin down the stretch and in the playoffs last year, then suffered a shoulder problem this spring, and elbow tightness that kept him out for over two months during the season.

The thinking goes, however, that despite those issues, Marcum at least enjoyed his time in Toronto enough, and got along well enough with many teammates who are still here, that the Jays might have some kind of advantage in getting his name on a contract, all else being equal. Marcum stoked these fires in a what the hell else was he gonna say? moment on the Fan 590 last week, which I noted in an Afternoon Snack at the time, telling Jeff Sammut that the Jays are “on my list that’s for sure. I enjoyed my time there, I loved the city, loved the coaching staff, so it’s definitely a place that I would be interested in.”

Jays Journal explored this possibility last week, figuring Marcum to be an OK secondary option, presumably at a reduced rate due to the injury concerns. Over there they again, only half jokingly, I think, suggested it this week, contemplating the possibility of some kind of 2008 Jays rotation reunion (because, y’know, you’ll never stop people from dreaming about re-acquiring Roy Halladay, as completely not fucking happening as it is), which obviously would include Marcum. And the latest from the Blue Jay Hunter also explores the possibility in a favourable light.

I admit, I’d at least be intrigued by the idea, given that I just don’t see there being many top-end guys out there willing to take the Jays’ money, given their state of the big league club, the competitiveness of the AL East, and all the other factors that typically prevent guys from wanting to come here.

But hold the phone. Here’s Jeff Blair speaking on his Fan 590 show this week, pouring water on anything resembling the potential reuniting of Marcum and the Jays (audio here)…

“Ah… there are extenuating circumstances with Shaun Marcum– no chance that he’s back here,” he explained. “I think the Blue Jays thought that there were some things going on in the clubhouse when he was there that they didn’t necessarily like. Shaun Marcum is definitely not coming back here, not as long as Alex Anthopoulos is General Manager, put it that way.”

So… there’s that. And, y’know, maybe it’s for the best. I get the feeling Marcum has the tendency to get a little dehydrated when exposed to the Southern Ontario climate, anyway.

And, as the Blue Jay Hunter pointed out in his post, there was a reported clubhouse issue that got Marcum demoted back in 2008. We– well, Bergkamp– provided some links to it at the time, back when we were funny. Hmmm.

Comments (81)

  1. I remember reading someone defending the Lawrie photos by saying something along the lines of if Deadspin had existed when Marcum was coming up we would have seen some unflattering photos of him, too. I still haven’t heard any specifics, though.

  2. I’d be more than happy to have him as a number 5 type, I only say 5 because of the injury concerns, if it bumped Happ or Alvarez out of the rotation. As for his partying issues, who is to say a couple of years haven’t mellowed him slightly?

  3. With Litsch set to hit free agency and McGowan perpetually on the DL, that would be one lame-assed reunion

  4. I just wanna point out that even tho Halladay is most likely out of the question…when YOU say its out of the question u are usually wrong these days lol…i mean you spoke so matter of factly about Farrell not leaving for the longest time and you really had no idea what was going on behind the scenes (nobody did)…but YOU were the only one talking so matter of factly. Just saying.

    • Yep, I thought the exact same thing when I read that. It must be awesome to speak with such confidence on things that you know absolutely nothing about.

      Not saying I expect a reunion with Doc, or even that I think it would be a well-spent $20M, but it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Not because he used to pitch here, but just because I think there’s as good a chance as that happening as there is with just about anything else happening. It’s unlikely, yes, but only to the extent that any prediction on one specific trade or on one specific player coming to one specific team is unlikely.

      “As completely not fucking happening as it is” … ugh, get over yourself.

      • It is almost definitely not happening though…

        • But you could say that about anyone and be right 99.9% of the time.

          The following is a list of people for whom a trade with the Jays is almost definitely not happening:

          - Clayton Kershaw
          - Justin Verlander
          - Andrew McCutchen
          - Ryan Howard
          - Brandon Inge

          You see, it works with just about anyone.

          • Shit! I was sure the Tigers were gonna be looking to shop Verlander after this postseason hes put up.

            I wonder if there are Tigers fan who say that sort of thing. The ol ‘sell high’ adage. Same sort of fans who were saying we should trade Bautista after his 54 HR year.

      • It’s his blog, dude. Whether he’s wrong or right, he’s allowed to talk as cocky as he wants and never get over himself.
        You no like, change the channel.

    • I think you need to re-read what I was saying before you go acting like a smart guy.

      I’ll grant you that I didn’t think it was going to happen, and I’ll admit that there might be some comments out there were I was more sure about it than I possible could have been, but I’d love some evidence of my being so matter of fact that it absolutely wouldn’t.

      These two posts make me feel pretty good about where I stood, even if I’m definitely wrong at the end of the second one.

      • Its not specifically one example they’re bitching about. The problem is that you write, y’know, so condescendingly. This isn’t your fault, really. We live in a time, thanks to social media, internet comments sections and blogs which basically allows people to read only things they want to hear which in turn leads to the act of being condescending replacing actual arguments for many people. I have read dozens of your blogs and you don’t do this, but you are condescending (at times often justifyably) and this discredits your otherwise stellar work, which is actually refreshing because of your refusal to buy into headlines, small sample sizes and conventioanl thinking. I have taught critical thinking in college, and you are an excellent critical thinker, but in reality, you undercut yourself by writing like an asshole. So, y’lnow, theres that.

      • No need to defend yourself Andrew. These holier than thou declarations are what we like to call “Stoeten being Stoeten”.

        Arguing with you over relatively trivial matters is one of the draws of this site.

      • Not acting like a smart guy at all. Dude, i like your site…but a lot of your posts are driven by just wanting to go against the grain JUST cause….As much sane theories and posts that come from your site, its really clear that a lot of it is driven to not be lumped in with the shitty ass Toronto sport media that we are all too cluttered with. Which is great. But i think your drive for that often drives the theories you tend to post on here too often.

        Btw dont grant me anything. YOU DIDNT THINK IT WAS GONNA HAPPEN. AND YOU WERE SO CONFIDENT THAT IT WASNT. Just take the L dude, admit and keep it moving. That sorry ass reply of posts where you are trying to show us that u were just “unsure” or “unclear” about it is pathetic. You are far much better than that and which is why i like coming to this site. Keep up the good work mang.

  5. Marcum may be useful this year but will he be in 2014,2015?He may just be blocking prospects in those years.

    Don’t know if was noted earlier,and it’s not a big deal IMO. but Chad Beck was picked of waivers by the Pirates.

    • Bang on.

      I mean, I get the desire to write off much of the pitching staff who were thrust into starring roles this year due to injuries to the guys at the top of the depth chart, but this is a foolish concept. Are we really ready to cut bait on Hutchison, Drabek, Alvarez, Jenkins, McGuire, and even McGowan? If not, then having an expensive free agent in the 4/5 spot in the rotation who is likely only going to be marginally better than any of those guy is just a means of clogging the system up. And that’s before we consider the Lansing teenagers who are going to be arriving at some point when Marcum’s effectiveness is bound to be in decline.

      I’d much prefer to see next to no money spent on those slots in the rotation, and have those resources put towards overpaying for a true front-of-the-rotation starter. Bring an ace into the fold, and slot Romero and Morrow back a spot in the rotation.

      Let’s not forget that one year ago, before a freakish number of injuries called a number of things into question, we were all excited by how young this team was, and how many years the team would be building with a strong core. Let’s not suddenly become impatient and pretend like we need to win now because the window is so short for the Jays.

      • That’s the risk AA took this past winter and there was no depth behind those guys when they went down with injuries. Lets look the guys you mentioned:

        Hutchison – Likely gone until at least September and the club will probably not even bother getting him going again in 2013.

        Drabek – Back mid to late 2013 but how decent will he be? Guys usually don’t get all their stuff back until the 2nd year.

        Alvarez – Serviceable, but really could use the time in AAA working on his 3rd pitch. Why settle for him if the money is there for an upgrade?

        Jenkins – Shown he can be ok as a reliever at the major league level again why settle for him?

        Happ – Potentially a better option than Alvarez but 2 good starts out of 6 as a Jay and 2 terrible years in Houston don’t inspire a lot of confidence although his FIP does potentially point to better things to come.

        McGurie – Let’s talk when he can get AA hitters out first.

        Putting all your eggs in one basket in a Greinke type is risky imo. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a true ace but shocking regressions like Romero’s in 2012 along with all the injuries just goes to show you there’s plenty of things that can go wrong. Then there’s the fact that someone like Greinke isn’t going to come here in the first place.

        Spending $20+ million on one starter or a couple million more on two starters that potentially could equal the one starters performance? Guys like Peavy and Haren come to mind.

        • If guys signed end up blocking prospects that’s, in my opinion, a good problem. We then have starting pitching to use as trade bait. Not to mention the depth to cover injuries which will inevitably happen.

          • Use said it perfectly. Come the trade deadline they Jays could realistically get whatever they needed and still be deep enough down the stretch.

            Also lets remember, teams can’t restock their minor league systems nearly as quickly as they once did with the new CBA. Having that depth is going to be really valuable. Look at the problems the Yankees are going to face with their declining system over the next couple of years.

          • So let’s say Marcum is less than stellar.
            Do you really want to write off his contract because you signed him when you were desperate for pitching and he’s untradable ( because of his contract) or you need to DFA him?
            At his asking price and term , he’s not a depth move.

          • I think the point Winfield was trying to say is looking at the short (and rushed) stints in the majors of a few of these guys is a bit shortsighted.

            I agree, I would like to see a couple proven starters in the fold next year as well, but that isnt to suggest that some of these younger guys can’t be a performer.
            Jenkins for instance, NM, you said it looks like he will be a reliever. But he hasn’t had a chance to prove anything else. Save for what, 2 starts in September, both of which certainly were not poor starts. I wouldn’t be pleased with “settling” for him either in 2013, but the point is to not be so short sighted with some of these guys. Every good team will need about 10 legit starters over the course of a season, and its more than realistic to believe Alvarez, Jenkins, McGuire, Hutch, or Drabek could be included in that number next year.

          • Yep.

        • @bacon I think we’re past the point of giving guys like Jenkins a chance to prove anything at this point right now without some stellar work in the minors to show they really deserve the chance. The time for that was 2010 and last year to a certain extent. We tried that with Drabek, Hutchison, Alvarez, Laffey, Happ and others in 2012 even if it was out of necessity rather than choice a lot of the time.

          As for this group, I am certainly not writing them off at all. 2 of them are out for a significant chunk of time so really scratch them off the list for 2013. That leaves Alvarez, Happ and Jenkins. I think Alvarez and the team will be stronger if he spends more time in the minors working on the 3rd pitch. Happ would be my ideal swing man or 2nd Lefty if Oliver doesn’t come back so I’m not dumping him at all and would envision him starting the year with club. I just don’t want to settle for him as a starter right now. Jenkins is in the same boat as Happ imo. If for some reason the money is not there and we’re stuck with Happ as 5th starter then Jenkins would go to the pen.

          So after saying all of that, those 3 make for ideal depth heading into 2013. 2 of them have a good deal of experience now as starters at the major league level and both have shown they can handle the innings workload of a starter. If we get lucky and Drabek makes it back sooner rather than later then bonus for us.

      • what a stupid reason to not sign someone that is an obvious upgrade (though not without risk) to today’s staff ..

        Drabek, Hutch are maybes for 2013 at all ..
        Romero has to be as much of a wildcard as any of those 2
        Happ is questionable at best despite a few strong starts and Alvarez is a huge unknown after 2 mediocre seasons

        you deal with GOOD EXCESS should that happen .. the Rays, White Sox, Angels, all found ways to deal with too many good starters

        I would welcome back Marcum especially if it was something like 3 years 25 million – heck I don’t care what they pay him it ain’t my $

        • Marcum gonna give you 200 innings?
          Marcum the piece that’s taking you to the playoffs?
          Is he a placeholder until you get better through trades?
          Is he part of GOOD EXCESS or BAD EXCESS?
          You may be right but I’m cautious.

          • He might I guess it depends on his health obviously. However, I’d rather have 160-175 decent to very good innings from a starter than 200+ innings of shit balling.

            When we were discussing Villanueva a few weeks ago and the team was harping over getting 7 innings from their starters I showed that none of the starters we had now were coming close to that mark because they were too shit to last that long in general.

            The beauty about actually having depth in an Alvarez or Happ behind a guy like Marcum is that if Marcum’s arm falls off you’ve got a viable backup plan. If it doesn’t then you’re likely going to be ahead anyway with better innings from Marcum.

    • Dont forget that hutch and drabek wont be back til then. (2014) Especially hutch because they farted around getting him surgery til the end of this season. Drabek may or may not be ready depending on how it goes when he returns after next season’s all star break. But both of them will have missed valuable development time.

  6. They don’t call him AA for nuthin’ ya know.

  7. I liked Marcum when he was here but he sure seemed to have an awful lot of “flu-like symptoms”.

  8. i agree with Blair (did i just say that?)

    the Jays thought his arm was a ticking time bomb, and he had a problem with the “flu like symptoms”

  9. What exactly was the clubhouse problem with Marcum?

    Too much drinking the night before starts?


    Stealing other players women?

    He’s 4 years older now so I hope that’s not a problem.

    AA thrives on getting other teams troubled players like lawrie’s Rasmus morrow and Escobar.

    Why would he say no to Marcum if he is one of the only free agents willing to come here?

  10. I don’t think this is the year to take risks on pitchers who have injury concerns.

  11. Marcum not coming because AA is suddenly concerned about clubhouse issues? That seems unlikely, considering his trading history (Escobar, Rasmus, Lawrie). I realize this isn’t a trade situation, but AA certainly hasn’t been afraid of picking up guys with a little clubhouse stink on them in the past.

  12. I really don’t see AA going after Marcum and his 87mph heater as a solution to his rotation’s injury troubles. That would be asking fro a bunch of trouble. And if he’s going to gamble I can see him going after guys with more size and velocity, rather than picking up bargains. The team can’t afford another year with a patchwork rotation – and AA’s job will depend on moving forward at some point.

  13. You guys make the best beer in the world, Christ, it’s surprising that two thirds of all players don’t come down with beerflu during the year.

  14. I don’t give a shit whether Marcum comes back or not, but this whole line of speculation is offensive. These guys are young, have money and lots of free time. I was there once too without the money and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted a camera on me 24/7. They’re not angels or necessarily roll models, they’re fallible, like us. Give him a break.

  15. Marcum would be good, I guess. McCarthy? Who knows. I’d still like to see Peavy and I was intrigued by the idea (proposed by StoetenI think) of trading a nothing prospect for him and his option year. Won’t happen because $22 million is an asston of money but I feel like we only need 2 or 3 years before pitching starts coming through the pipeline. I worry about signing these guys and having them block prospects when they’re shitballers in 2015.

    • I think I saw something recently about Peavy. They wouldn’t pick up his option and that he’d be looking for a three year deal instead.

      As for them blocking guys, that’s always a potential problem but one that’s a good one to have. Let’s face it, Sanchez and Syndergaard will only be turning 23 in 2015 and Nicolino will be 24. Also a lot could happen between now and then, so not signing guys for 2013 and 2014 so you don’t potentially block guys in 2015 that ultimately could be a bust is awfully risky not mention damaging to your 2013 and 2014 seasons.

    • A commenter first suggested the Peavy/Haren thing, but I’ve definitely run with it. I wish I could remember who so I could give full credit.

      • I advocated trading for Madison Bumgarner a couple of offseasons ago.

        If that ever happens – which is INCREDIBLY likely – I will take full credit, thank you.



      • Maybe it was me. I don’t remember, but am also drunk.

    • There are a ton of guys on one year that can work: Haren, Lincecum, Peavy.

      And, you know, I’ve also mentioned Halladay while realizing the chances of that are slimmer with his NTC and whether or not he feels like a reunion at this point.

  16. Only thing stoppin a Marcum return to me would be the injury concerns.I wouldnt be interested in a term longer than 2 plus an option. I always heard that he liked his “adult beverages” which is only a concern to me if its affects his on field performance. No doubt a few years has mellowed that a bit. Hell, I remember David Wells sayin that he was severely hungover on many starts including the perfect game while with the Yankees. No endorsing that kind of thing before a start though just sayin Marcum isnt the only pitcher around who enjoys the nightlife. lol
    As for Doc, the only way I see him ever coming back is at a deadline trade cuz by some crazy alining of the stars, the Jays are in the thick of a playoff race.

  17. The only time I see Roy comming back is if the jays are hosting the phillies


  19. Marcum loves the sauce

  20. I would take the Jays money.. they might only get a third of an inning but hell it would be worth it right?

  21. Jim Tracy would straighten him out.

  22. Absolutely cannot worry about blocking prospects. There is NO guarantee that ANY of the “Lansing 3″ will even make it to the big leagues. And if they do make it onto the Jays roster that is “blocked” by vets? You slide them into the bullpen and acclimate them to ML hitting. The Rays have done this effectively for the past while – not a bad model to follow in that regard.

    We could do a lot worse than Marcum on a short term + option deal.

  23. I still remember his first couple starts out of the pen…the six-inning no-hitter vs TB. Would love to get some semblance of that pitcher back into the Jays’ rotation.

    Though he did seem awfully…fidgety?…compared to the rest of the staff. I don’t know what AA means, per se, but that’s a pretty damning statement for a guy once vaunted for his willingness to take on clubhouse cancers..

  24. We need more specifics on the Marcum clubhouse issues. He liked to party. Fine. So did Babe Ruth. Doc Ellis pitched a no-no on acid in the ’70′s. There’s more to this than booze. He banged someone’s wife ala Molgilny/Corson or Iafrate/Leeman? He’s got a coke problem? He’s a member of the KKK? He hates Greek food? I need my friends at DJF to scrape up the dirt. Inquiring minds need to know.

  25. You guys understand the minors much better than I do. How good are the Big 3? I keep hearing about them. And they sure sound terrific…

    • Mid 2014 would probably be the first time you saw them at the major league level and that’s only if the Jays had depth problems again. As for their upside, I believe none of them are projecting any worse than a #3 right now so that’s not too shabby at all. Still it’s 2 years of development where anything can go wrong.

      I believe all 3 are slated to start in Dunedin in 2013. Roberto Osuna might be another possibility but I think he’ll probably be in Lansing.

      The cool thing about the AAA club at Buffalo now is that the Jays don’t necessarily have to jump their higher ceiling guys over AAA now to avoid horrible Vegas.

  26. I am ok with signing Marcum if they strike out on 2-3 other pitchers first. AA has to go for the cream of the crop. Give a strong offer to Greinke but don’t hold any breath on it going through. Peavy, Haren, Dempster–hell even wild cards like Halladay or Lincecum trade offers–AA has a lot of options he can try that are probably better than signing Marcum. If all else fails I don’t mind him on the team again.

    Also a funny thing about the Halladay trade:

    Would the Jays trade d’Arnaud alone for Halladay? I think they probably wouldn’t, looks like they did pretty well with that trade.

  27. How the fuck does having MLBs fifth-ranked prospect even compare to the cream-in-your-pants bliss Phillies fans enjoyed when Halladay threw that post-season no-hitter?

    • well put into context:

      the jays might have had a no hitter but it wouldnt of been in the post season

      the jays get a potentially very, very good young player that fits into their future

  28. Errr, I dunno. I think the very fact that it can be argued against on this partying basis, is reason enough for AA not to do it. He has enough alleged clubhouse issues to deal with, it doesn’t seem to make sense to toss another one into the equation. I think he’ll play it safer, and perhaps give Peavy the contract he wants.

  29. soooooon………

  30. On a side note, I think it’s pretty fuckin clear who won the Marcum-Lawrie trade?

  31. MORROW
    McGowan/Hutch/Drabek (one of these guys has GOT to step up)

    STRONG BULLPEN anchored by resurgent SANTOS


    JPA/TDA (trade bait)
    1B or 2B FREE AGENT

    Pending any major fucking castrophes, are the Jays not contenders for a playoff spot in 2013???

    • That would be great if almost everything wasn’t completely wrong.

      There won’t be any FA starter signings. The rotation will be Morrow, Romero (shitty version), Alvarez, Happ, and Jenkins.

      Hutch and Drabek are both gone for all of 2013.

      McGowan will never pitch again.

      Santos may never pitch again.

      Of the hitters, only Bautista and EE are above average.

      It would take a significant improvement at the plate this year for Lawrie to be even an average 3B offensively.

      Rasmus was an automatic out for 5 of 6 months.

      1B and 2B are set with Lind and Aviles respectively. If we get a combined 1 WAR from them it would be a victory.

      It’s hard to see the 2013 Jays being any better than the 2012 version, even assuming injuries normalize a bit.

  32. “Ah… there are extenuating circumstances with Shaun Marcum– no chance that he’s back here,” he explained. “I think the Blue Jays thought that there were some things going on in the clubhouse when he was there that they didn’t necessarily like. Shaun Marcum is definitely not coming back here, not as long as Alex Anthopoulos is General Manager, put it that way.”

    Thanks for nothing there Jeff you fucking tease. Typical fucking media, holding back valuable information because they are such pussies. If you are going to say something liek that, TELL US WHAT THE FUCK ACTUALLY HAPPENED!

    • +1. Why can’t Blair be more detailed?

      If what he has done is so bad & it is impossible for him to come here what’s the problem.

      • If he specululates about Marcum’s behaviour and can’t substantiate it, he opens himself up to a lawsuit.

        • Seriously man, in that situation if you’re just speculating…don’t bother saying anything at all. Or don’t say it as a matter of fact.

          • Exactly. I’m getting kind of tired of the TMZ sports reporting. It’s like listening to a bunch of 13 year old girls gossip, or worse, like listening to the Boston media.

  33. Marcum is done. And AA didn’t trade our “ace” for Brett Lawrie a prospect in a straight up deal because marcum was a stand up guy… He was having issues with the coaching staff and team mates

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