Teams still looking to add one last option before Spring Training arrives just lost out on another option, as the New York Mets reached an agreement to sign right-hander Shaun Marcum to a one year deal early Thursday. The deal is still pending a physical, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, and financial details aren’t yet known. It is the first Major League contract the Mets have agreed to this winter which likely assures Marcum of a spot in the starting rotation.
Marcum made 21 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers this past season, going 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9 across 124.0 innings before being shutdown due to tightness in his elbow. Marcum underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2009 but has been an innings eater since his return, throwing 395.1 innings over the subsequent two seasons.
Early on there appeared to be some speculation that he could land a multi-year deal somewhere, but a market never seemed to develop for Marcum this winter. There was plenty of rumored interest but little news regarding contract terms. New York may have jumped in with a steal by getting him on just a one year deal. Presumably it will be a modest base salary with possible performance incentives. Marcum will round out the Mets rotation heading into the season alongside Johan Santana, Jonathan Niese, Matt Harvey, and Dillon Gee. His ability to go deep into games will benefit and lengthen the team’s pitching staff, especially where Harvey (heading into his first full season in the Majors) and Gee (a health concern ended his 2012 season prematurely) may be on some sort of innings limit over the course of the season.
The addition also lets the Mets keep Jenrry Mejia and Zack Wheeler at Triple-A to start the year, instead of in the team’s rotation. Both are highly likely to see time in New York before season’s end.