After their failed attempt to add Francisco Liriano, the Pittsburgh Pirates may be turning to righthander Shaun Marcum to bolster their starting rotation for the 2013 season.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, the Bucs are among a few teams that has shown interest in Marcum, who was one of the consensus top 20 available free agents this offseason.
Morosi tweets that the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are also showing interest. Marcum has also been linked to the Indians, Mets, Twins and Royals at various points this winter.
Shaun Marcum, free agent starter, is drawing interest from Padres, Pirates and Rangers, sources say. @mlbonfox
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2013
Marcum pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 and battled injuries while posting a 3.70 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 35.4 percent ground ball rate in 124 innings pitched in 21 starts.
There is a bit of concern though.
Marcum missed close to two months last season with elbow tightness and lost a lot of velocity on his fastball, barely topping out at 86 mph late in the season.
But when he is healthy, Marcum is a very solid starter, posting career line of a 3.76 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 38.7 percent ground ball rate in seven MLB seasons.
Marcum will command some money, but would be a good fit with the Pirates. If he is healthy, the Bucs could have a solid top three starters in A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and Marcum.
It remains to be seen exactly how high the Bucs would be willing to go on a guy such as Marcum, but there are teams with deeper pockets involved. That doesn’t bode well for the Pirates.