With the news that free agent Brett Myers is signing with the Cleveland Indians, it seems likely that there is now one less suitor out there for Shaun Marcum. According to Jon Morosi, the Indians had discussions with Marcum before signing Myers. He notes that it is not clear how the Myers signing effects Marcum's standing with the Indians, but it would be out of character for the Indians to splurge on two free agent starting pitchers in a single off-season.
Marcum started 21 games for the Milwaukee Brewers last season and posted a 3.70 ERA. He dealt with arm issues that held him to only 124 innings pitched. From 2010-11 though, he threw a total of 396 innings with an ERA around 3.60. He missed 2009 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. If it weren't for the injury worries, he would likely be fielding numerous multi-year offers. He may have to settle for a short-term deal, though.
So assuming the Indians are no longer interested in Marcum's services, what options remain for the free agent righty? One possibility could be the San Diego Padres. Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune noted on Friday that the Padres "need to sign a starting pitcher of substance," and names Marcum as a candidate. The Padres finished 2012 in fourth place in the NL West as their pitching staff was devastated by injuries. They had only two pitchers (Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez) throw more than 100 innings. Marcum could prove to be a welcome addition to their starting rotation.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says Marcum could be a fit with the Cubs. He notes that Matt Garza is something of a question mark coming into the 2013 season as he recovers from an elbow injury. If the Cubs aren't comfortable with Garza's progress, they could call on a free agent veteran like Marcum to help pick up the slack.
The New York Mets are also known to be searching for veteran rotation help. Marc Craig lists Marcum along with a few other possibilities for them. The Mets traded their ace and Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays last month and could possibly be looking for someone like Marcum to eat some innings until top pitching prospects like Zack Wheeler are ready to step in.
One option that does not seem likely for Marcum is a return to his old team, the Milwaukee Brewers. A few weeks ago, Brewers' GM Doug Melvin said he had not spoken with Marcum's agent and the team had not discussed him as an option. But of course, things could change.
The Indians seemed like a logical landing spot for Marcum, but it seems like he will have to search elsewhere for employment. He just turned 31-years-old, so he is still more or less in his prime. Guys his age with his track record are not normally unemployed for long. The injury history is concerning, but he could still end up being one of the better free agent bargains this winter.