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.