Shaun Marcum has been out since mid-June with an elbow injury and suffered a setback last week, causing the Brewers to transfer him from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Milwaukee made the move to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for reliever Fautino De Los Santos, who was acquired from Oakland for catcher George Kottaras, but the shift also means Marcum won’t be eligible to return until August 14.
Marcum is an impending free agent, so if healthy the Brewers would likely be shopping him for more prospects after dealing Zack Greinke to the Angels. Instead he’s no sure thing to pitch again this season and the 30-year-old right-hander may have a hard time securing a big-money deal on the open market despite a 3.68 ERA in 141 career starts.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.