Shaun Marcum never pitched for the Indians after signing a minor-league deal last December, but now he’s sticking with Cleveland on another minor-league contract.
For a long time Marcum was very effective and oft-injured, posting a 3.67 ERA in 830 innings from 2007-2012, but he ceased being effective in 2013 and barely pitched at all this year following thoracic outlet surgery.
Marcum is 33 years old, so as far as low-risk, low-cost fliers go he’s a worthwhile move for the Indians.
Left-hander Zach Duke, who turned his career around as a reliever and thrived in the Brewers’ bullpen this season, has signed with the White Sox according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
Duke came up through the Pirates’ farm system as a highly touted starter prospect, but went 47-75 with a 4.69 ERA in 169 career starts and has bounced around a lot in recent years.
However, when used out of the bullpen Duke has a 3.28 ERA and 107/39 K/BB ratio in 129 innings, including 74 strikeouts in 59 innings this season.
Duke’s track record of excellence isn’t long, but given the likely price tags for high-end relief pitching this offseason he could prove to be a shrewd pickup.
UPDATE: It’s a three-year, $15 million deal for Duke.
Not surprisingly Toronto is shopping Dioner Navarro after signing Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract to replace him at catcher and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Blue Jays “are drawing interest.”
It makes sense, because Navarro is a veteran catcher with a reasonable $5 million salary for 2015 and hit .274 with 12 homers and a .712 OPS in 139 games this season. He’d be an upgrade behind the plate for plenty of teams and it seems unlikely that the Blue Jays would want a $5 million backup, so expect a deal to get done.
Previous reports suggested the Orioles are trying to dump the remainder of Ubaldo Jimenez’s four-year, $50 million contract, but not surprisingly there apparently hasn’t been much interest and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that they “may consider moving” Bud Norris.
Baltimore acquired Norris from Houston in mid-2013 and he’s thrown 216 innings with a 3.92 ERA since the trade, striking out 196 and walking 72. Norris is 30 years old and will be eligible for free agency next offseason, so it’s hard to imagine the Orioles getting a ton considering he’s got a 4.23 career ERA and has never topped 190 innings.
But if the Orioles are stuck with Jimenez and feel the need to clear a spot in the rotation for him, dealing Norris is one solution that wouldn’t have major long-term consequences at least. Clearing his projected $9 million salary off the books might help too.