Starting pitching is a priorty for Alex Anthopoulos and the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason. This much we know. While it’s more of a long shot that the club will land a prize like Zack Greinke, it’s probable that they will be players in the race for many of the second tier free agent starters along the lines of Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson, Jeremy Guthrie and Shaun Marcum. Marcum, ahh him, that’s not happening right?
As Stoeten noted over at DJF a couple of weeks back regarding the possibility of the Toronto Blue Jays reuniting with Shaun Marcum, Jeff Blair seemingly extinguished the idea by vaguely hinting at some clubhouse issues during the 30-year old’s previous tenure with the team. You can listen for yourself here, but we’ll run with Stoeten’s transcription for those more inclined to use their eyeballs:
“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.”
Yeah, so, something about rumours of Marcum’s propensity to perspire emanating from an innate ability to contract the 40 oz. flu at a staggering rate. Anyhow, if one were to place any stock in Blair’s musing on the subject then we would presume that the Blue Jays would abstain from attempting to enter negotiations with Marcum.
Then again, maybe not. In a Friday notebook piece in the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott indicates that the Blue Jays have inquired about the market price for Marcum. Marcum spent five seasons in a Blue Jays uniform before being traded to Milwaukee in the deal that landed Brett Lawrie. He has expressed an interest in returning to Toronto, and he fits the bill as a quality buy-low option that Alex Anthopoulos would be looking for in this winter’s quest to solidify the club’s starting pitching.
Rumblings of clubhouse issues aside, there’s the trouble with Marcum’s health. The right hander hit the 60-day DL last season with an elbow injury, and missed another block of games late in the season with a calf injury. Perhaps it’s just due diligence on the part of the Blue Jays. It doesn’t hurt to knock on the door.
Marcum started 21 games for the Brewers last season, posting a 3.70 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 4.21 xFIP and 109 strikeouts in 124 innings. The Chicago Cubs have also been linked to him in the early stages of this free agency season. Marcum earned $7.725 million on a one-year deal in 2012.