Originally written on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 11/6/14

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP
Even though the surprising success of arms like Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada has made his absence more tolerable, Shaun Marcum should be returning to the Brewers soon. The right-hander made his first rehab start today for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, going three innings, allowing one hit (a home run) while walking none and striking out three. Twenty-eight of his thirty-six pitches were for strikes.

Marcum said today that he is going to require at least one more rehab start (possibly two) before returning to the Brewers, meaning that he won’t return as soon as he is eligible to – his stint on the 60-day DL will be up August 14. So, if the Brewers want to try and move him before the August 31 waiver trade deadline, they will likely have only one healthy major-league start left in which to showcase him.

However, Marcum’s successful start was not the most interesting piece of news to come out of Appleton – er, Grand Chute – today. In an article by the 
(h/t to @Mass_Haas), Marcum sounded almost certain that the Brewers would not be re-signing him this offseason. In reference to the team, Marcum said “Everything has been quiet on their end” and noted that while he has enjoyed his time in Milwaukee, “Hopefully there will be someone out there I can sign on with and we’ll see what happens.”

The Brewers have been very quiet on their plans for Marcum after this year, but this really surprised me. The club has made it very clear that they plan on contending in 2013, and perhaps the biggest obstacle to that is a lack of depth in the starting rotation, which would be greatly exacerbated if Marcum weren’t around.

Without him, the Brewers would be looking at a starting five of Yovani Gallardo, Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada, and some combination of Mark Rogers, Tyler Thornburg, Wily Peralta, or whatever they can acquire via free agency or a trade. That roughly translates to “one number-two starter, two 4/5 types, and a lot of question marks”, and no amount of hitting, fielding, or bullpen magic is going to make the Brewers a viable playoff team with that rotation.

Given his health this year, re-signing Marcum may be risky proposition, but, if healthy, he would go a long way towards filling the hole in the Brewers’ rotation that is going to need to be plugged somehow. Though such a deal would almost certainly run at least three years at eight figures per, I think that’s reasonable for a pitcher of Marcum’s caliber – the Brewers gave Randy Wolf 3 years and $31 million in 2010, and that deal actually turned out to be a pretty fair one.

It’s also possible that Milwaukee wants to pursue other mid-level starters or is even going to make another run at Zack Greinke. Such a move(s) could make sense too, especially if the club knows something we don’t about Marcum’s medicals, but all of these options – whether in the form of cash or prospects – would likely come at a higher cost than Marcum. He knows a lot more about this situation than I do, but Marcum does seem excessively down on his future in Milwaukee – at this point, it looks like he could be a good “buy low” deal for the Brewers. Ultimately, though, as he kind of said in the
article, that’s entirely in the hands of the decision-makers in the front office.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship


Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Five potentially fatal flaws for Patriots in the Super Bowl

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Potential fatal flaws for Pats in SB XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.