Editor's Note: This is a periodic series during the offseason that looks at available players and how they may or may not fit for the Texas Rangers.
Today's player: Shaun Marcum
A report out this morning (Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com) says the Rangers are one of a few teams interested in the 31-year-old right-handed starter. Marcum missed two months last season because of elbow tightness. Marcum is a player we talked about earlier this offseason on this blog, thinking he could be someone the Rangers checked in on at some point.
He doesn't blow anyone away with his fastball speed (averaged just shy of 87 mph last year), but can move the ball around the zone and gets ahead of hitters. He was 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 124 innings pitched last season (21 starts). He came back from the elbow injury in late August and was 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA in his final eight starts (32 strikeouts and 15 walks). Opponents batted .279 against him in those last eight outings.
In his last four seasons, Marcum has a 3.57 ERA and a 42-26 record (was with Toronto and Milwaukee).
Earlier this offseason, speculation was Marcum wanted a two- or three-year deal. I wonder if he'd consider a one-year deal with a club option (or something like that) now to try to show he's over any elbow concerns. Any club that signs Marcum does not have to give up draft-pick compensation, so that makes him more attractive. And if Marcum wants to play for a contender, the Rangers should have some appeal for him.
The question the Rangers must ask is if Marcum makes more sense than letting their young pitchers compete for the spot. But general manager Jon Daniels stressed over the weekend that his club is still searching the starting pitching market. They'd like some more depth there. Marcum's not a top-tier rotation pitcher, but he can add depth.
If the contract is structured where only one year is guaranteed, I see how it can make some sense. Otherwise, I'd rather see Martin Perez, Justin Grimm and Robbie Ross (and other external options that might pop up) get an opportunity to fight for that fifth spot.
What do you think? Would you like to see Marcum added? Why or why not?