Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
Shaun Marcum's deal with the Mets will be for one year (we already knew that) and a base salary of $4 million, plus up to $2 million more in incentives, Ken Rosenthal reports. (UPDATE: Sounds like it's actually $4 million in incentives, which changes things a bit.)
Marcum's health concerns are significant, but this is pretty surprising. The Pirates, after all, signed the wildly-inconsistent Francisco Liriano for two years and $12.75 million, and that was after he broke his non-pitching arm. When they reworked the contract, they added stipulations that prevent them from having to pay the full amount if Liriano isn't ready to play, but still -- I liked the Liriano deal as an upside play, but he and Marcum haven't been on the same planet in terms of production in the past couple years.
In any case, it may be that Marcum's health concerns are more serious than we realize -- as a lot of people discussed yesterday in the Justin Upton thread, we on the outside don't know as much as folks within the game about whether a player is damaged goods. But Marcum pitched reasonably well down the stretch last year and hasn't been hurt since then, at least not to our knowledge. I hate to come down on the Pirates too hard for not outbidding the Mets, since 1) 29 other teams presumably also failed to outbid the Mets and 2) it's certainly possible Marcum just didn't want to come to Pittsburgh and 3) it could be that Marcum's price didn't fall that low until after the Bucs re-worked the Liriano deal. Still, though, getting Marcum for slightly more than the Mets paid would have been a real coup for the Pirates.