I am going to piggy back off of Benjamin’s article from earlier today, and stick with the starting rotation.
At yesterday’s ‘Brewers On Deck’, Brewers head negotiator Teddy Werner said that negotiations with Shaun Marcum were “making good progress”. Here is my question for Teddy, what kind of negotiations? Because if I am being real with Mr. Werner, a one year contract for Marcum is about as useful as a house in Seattle made of cardboard.
Look we can skip the foreplay, I know that Marcum was the worst postseason pitcher in 2011. No one else was even close. Shaun would have been better off throwing the ball underhand against the D’Backs and Cardinals. Those performances (3 starts, 0-3, 14.90 ERA, 16 ER, 9.2 innings) were unfortunate, but I believe that his performance was due to fatigue. Especially when you consider that Marcum had never pitched into October in his entire career. During the regular season, Marcum threw over 200 innings for the first time…no wonder the guy was gassed.
Now for the bright spot.
During his first full season as a Brewers, Marcum was 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA. In my opinion, one of the best #3 pitchers in the NL (if you exclude the Phillies ridiculous rotation from 2011) during the 2011 season. The Brewers need Shaun Marcum in order to stay competitive. In his 2 seasons post-Tommy John surgery, Marcum has been consistant if nothing else. In 2010 with the Blue Jays he gave up 79 ER’s and 84 runs overall, in 2011…the EXACT same. In the two seasons since his TJ surgery, he has given up 46 total home runs. Trust me, there are even more signs that Shaun is going to duplicate last seasons performance. Those are just the ones I chose to mention.
Marcum is now 30 years old, but in ex-Blue Jays starting pitchers time he is only about 27. Roy Halladay put it together when he was about 28 (same as Marcum) and has had his best years as a pro north of the age of 30. While this is not the best example, A.J. Burnett seemed to hit his stride around the age of 28 and had his best season as a starter when he was 31 and 32 years old. While Burnett is on the decline as we speak, I believe that Marcum is a better overall pitcher and should be able to sustain his career into his mid-thirties with great success. Baring any injuries, I have no reason to suspect that Marcum will not be as effective on the mound in 2012 as he was the past two seasons. Which is all the more reason to make a real deal.
Shaun Marcum is not the type of big name pitcher that is going to fetch much more than maybe $8 or $9 million a season, so sign him for a few more years. If you are already sitting down to negotiate a contract, make it something worth while. You are already going to have to pay him around $7 million dollars for one season, so make it a little more money for a few more years.
One more season is nice, but I don’t want nice…nice guys finish last. You sign Marcum to a longer term deal, and it makes the potential loss of Greinke more stomach-able for Brewers fans. This is the reason I hate arbitration. Stop farting around and give the guy a real contract, he has earned it.
Money is the deciding factor here and is probably the only reason a long-term deal has not already been finalized. I have seen a lot of startling numbers over the past 24 hours involving the Brewers finances (mostly the one involving the Brewers TV deal with FSN North…yikes!). What we as fans have to realize is, that by demanding better players we will eventually be the one’s to pay the price. Personally, I am willing to pay more for tickets to see a winning product. Aren’t you? If the cost of having Marcum and Greinke on the team in 2013, 2014, and 2015 is that I have to pay more for tickets to watch the boys in Brew…then so be it. Is there a Brewers fan out there who wouldn’t?
Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin are smart guys and they want to win. I thank the sweet baby Tebow for that every day, especially when you look within our division (Pirates, Astros, and now the Cubs). They know how important pitching is and I hope that they can reach some sort of agreement and pull the trigger. If they can not keep both Greinke and Marcum, at least keep one. We can stay competitive with Gallardo and Marcum/Greinke with some filler in the back end of the rotation. But the thought of going back to the days of Yovani Gallardo, Jeff Suppan, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, and….Braden Looper, is terrifying. Doubt that I am alone on that.
The team is on the verge of something wonderful, maybe it will be this season, but maybe not. I want the Brewers to be prepping for the worst. They have mad some really solid, smart moves so far this off-season and signing Marcum to a longer deal would be icing on the winter cake.
Four More Years of Shaun Marcum!!!!!