May 26, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Shaun Marcum reacts after Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (not pictured) hit a two-run home run during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Shaun Marcum Might Not Be A Terrible Option

Jul 1, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Shaun Marcum (38) pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that if the Royals are going to sign another starting pitcher, in all likelihood it is going to be a possible reclamation project. It would be someone they could get for a season, possibly with a team option, and be able to move on from should the experiment not work out. This strategy paid off well last season with the trade for Ervin Santana, who filled the role as the Royals second starter admirably.

Yet, unless the Royals find another $100 Million laying around someplace that is not earmarked for David Glass’s private bank account, Santana is not likely to be walking back through the door. So, if the Royals do not feel that their internal options in Danny Duffy and/or Yordano Ventura are ready to seize that role, they may need to take on another project. The Royals had already been linked to other players that would fit that designation in Josh Johnson and Tim Hudson before they signed elsewhere, and remain in the conversation for possible landing spots for Phil Hughes. However, aside from Hughes, there is another potential reclamation project out there that could attract attention from the Royals in Shaun Marcum.

Based off the reactions to Marcum in the comments of previous posts, it would appear as though he is only slightly above the concept of dragging Mark Redman out of retirement in the hierarchy of potential pieces for the rotation. Looking at the absolute disaster that was his 2013 season, it is easy to see why. Marcum was 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA, fighting through injuries that held him to only 14 appearances in the year. However, was Marcum’s season truly that bad?

There were definitely troubling signs for Shaun Marcum, as he got hit around in his outings, giving up a hit per inning for the first time since 2006. Marcum also had the lowest strikeout rate of his career, with just under seven strikeouts per nine innings. However, he had his lowest walk rate since 2010, and most of his peripheral statistics were in line with his career norms. Where Marcum was truly victimized was with the batted ball, as he had a .331 batting average on balls in play against, far above the major league average of .298, and his career mark of .277.

That rough 2013 could partially be due to his injuries, but it may also have a lot to do with the Mets defense. Although they ranked around the middle of the pack in most defensive categories, the Mets were unable to turn double plays and had trouble getting to the ball. With a much better defense behind him in Kansas City, it is conceivable that Marcum could have a bounce back year.

Shaun Marcum may not be the option that most people would want to see in the Royals rotation, but he may end up providing a decent return on investment. At the very least, he likely would not be nearly as bad as he was last season.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Shaun Marcum

  • Chad Woelk

    No no no no no no no no no.

  • unclejesse40

    What type of contract are we talking about here? a million bucks? for that I would see if you can flip him. If a million isnt enough throw in a couple of incentives that if he makes you wouldnt mind paying for. My only concern is that they might leave him in there to long and not bring in the young arms.

    • Dave Hill

      I’d say one to two million. If he jumps for that, why not? Otherwise, they’re probably better off with the prospects. Just surprised me how his peripherals were very close to his career marks.

  • jimfetterolf

    Marcum was a big must-have for some Royals’ bloggers last year. Looks like his velo has been steadily decaying the last four years to the point where he only has about 6mph separation with the CH. He doesn’t throw as hard as Chen and Vargas and his K-rate is in the NL, so I could see maybe a minor-league offer with invite to SP, but would rather have any of Ventura-Smith-Zimmer, and maybe even Dwyer before Marcum. He’s an unhealthy version of Vargas or Chen, at best.

    • Dave Hill

      He’s not someone that would excite me either, but his peripherals were about the same as his career marks. Wonder how much his struggles were due to injury and bad luck. He’s not someone that I would want to see the Royals sign, but he may not be a disaster either.

      • jimfetterolf

        The way I see it is that we don’t need a pitcher other than a clear #2. I wasn’t even real thrilled with Vargas, as it eliminated a slot for a young guy, but he’s at least healthy.

        • Dave Hill

          That’s how I would see it, unless the Royals think they could flip him around the All-Star break and bring up Ventura or Zimmer. Wonder if they feel that Ventura is ready at this point, or that he may need a bit more time in the minors.

          • jimfetterolf

            I could see Ventura starting at Omaha for Super Two reasons, alongside Zimmer after a month or so, with Smith in the rotation with Duffy. In a perfect world Guthrie or an un-extendable Shields then get traded and we try to recapture the magic of the ’85 Young Guns.


    I’d be open to a cheap one year contract with an option. Isn’t Marcum originally from the KC area? Is that what’s driving some of the interest from fans?

    • Dave Hill

      Exactly what I would think the Royals would offer. Maybe a million or two with a team option. Low risk, possible decent reward type of deal.

      • KCMOWHOA

        He grew up in Excelsior Springs BTW. Giving him a year contract and seeing if he can at all recover would be reasonable but we probably need to jettison somebody from the rotation or middle relief first. I guess we can wait on that Davis trade…

  • moretrouble

    I”m not sure KC needs anyone else. In case of injury, Smith, Hoch and Davis are capable of stepping into the rotation. The pitching is deeper than 2012 when the KC-Omaha bus was operating full-time. Maybe if they start trading away their bullpen depth, they’d be at risk, but right now they look plenty deep.

  • Dave Lowe

    Every year I hear this Shawn Marcum talk, and I just don’t get it. The guy is finished. He’s often injured, and he’s just not good anymore.

    What is the deal with you guys and Marcum!?