Shaun Marcum said yesterday during a radio interview that he was interested in re-signing with Milwaukee, but today Brewers general manager Doug Melvin revealed that he hasn’t even spoken to the free agent right-hander about the possibility.
“I haven’t given it much thought,” Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We haven’t talked to his agent. It’s nice to know he’d consider [returning] but we haven’t talked about it. With most free agents, we give them the chance to go out and test the market. We like Shaun; he pitched well for us. But I always thought he’d engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will.”
In other words, the Brewers aren’t interested in bringing Marcum back after trading Brett Lawrie to get him from the Blue Jays in December of 2010. Marcum threw 324 innings with a 3.60 ERA in two seasons for Milwaukee, but got knocked around in the playoffs and, as has been the story of his career, had arm problems.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.