Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
The former Brewers hurler is among the best free agent pitchers left on the open market.
As every team begins to piece together their roster with the final few additions of the off-season, the San Diego Padres are reportedly kicking the tires on one of the top remaining pitchers available. Shaun Marcum, formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers, is drawing the interest of the Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers, according to Jon Paul Morosi.
Marcum is a 31-year-old righthander who has been linked to numerous teams this winter after a frustrating season in Milwaukee. His 3.70 ERA last season was his highest in four seasons, and his WHIP of 1.266 was his highest since 2006. Still, those are solid numbers for the Pads to consider, and Marcum's track record should allow the slight mulligan known as 2012.
Before last season, Marcum had started 64 games the previous two seasons combined with a 3.59 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays and Brewers. His fly ball tendencies would play well in Petco and could allow Marcum to sharpen his stock before re-entering the market after a short-term deal. Then again, Marcum might want to parlay his free agency into a spot on a contender.
Given the state of the Padres rotation, it's not surprising they would want to throw another arm into the mix. The team already re-signed Jason Marquis earlier this winter, but multiple injury concerns remain among starting candidates including Andrew Cashner and Edinson Volquez. However, itshould also be noted that Marcum himself is hardly the model of consistency after missing two months of the 2012 season due to elbow tightness.
Given the money thrown to questionable starters, Marcum is a solid bet for any team looking for help in the rotation. The Padres have a lot of internal candidates who could turn out, but each comes with a series of question marks. Marcum has his own as well, but the track record is there to feel better about the righty than most others.