Shaun Marcum’s return doesn’t sound imminent

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The Brewers just unloaded Zack Greinke for prospects, but they won’t have the chance to do the same with Shaun Marcum.

Marcum is still trying to make it back from a right elbow injury which has kept him on the shelf since mid-June. He made it through a bullpen session earlier this week with no issues, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Jeremy Warnemuende of MLB.com that he “didn’t feel as good” after throwing 15 pitches today.

Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz said Marcum had trouble “getting loose.” And while the veteran right-hander was originally placed on the disabled list with elbow tightness, Kranitz indicated that his shoulder was the issue today. That doesn’t sound like a promising combination.

Roenicke stopped short of calling today’s bullpen session a setback, but it’s clear Marcum won’t be rejoining the Brewers’ rotation in the near future. He’s expected to play catch on Saturday, after which there should be more clarity about the next step.

Marcum, an impending free agent, has a 3.39 ERA and 77/26 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 innings across 13 starts this year.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.