2012 MLB Trade Deadline: Why the Milwaukee Brewers Should Re-Sign Shaun Marcum

Justin Schultz@@JSchu23Correspondent IJuly 27, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 28:  Shaun Marcum #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

If the Milwaukee Brewers can't re-sign Zack Greinke, going after Shaun Marcum looks to be the smart move.

GM Doug Melvin has confirmed that Greinke will be traded before the July 31 deadline. Marcum was thought to draw trade interest as well, until a sore elbow forced him on the disabled list. To make matters worst, this hasn't been the first time the 30-year-old has dealt with elbow complications.

In 2009, Marcum suffered an elbow injury that ultimately resulted in Tommy John surgery. A member of the Toronto Blue Jays then, he missed the entire season.

He bounced back nicely in 2010, going 13-8 with a 3.36 ERA and ending any speculation that his elbow was still a problem.

After being traded to the Brewers before the 2011 season, Marcum remained healthy and made 33 starts for his new ball club. Despite a horrendous postseason, Marcum was Milwaukee's most reliable pitcher.

Injuries aside, the Brewers would be foolish to let Marcum, who is eligible for free agency after this season, walk. The ship has sailed on trading him. His DL stint has caused interested teams to look elsewhere. Milwaukee, however, should look past his elbow problems and do what they can to keep him in a Brewers uniform.

The Brewers gave up the farm to acquire Marcum and Greinke. Although they made the postseason a year ago, the trades will look like a failure if both are no longer on the team. Greinke is a goner—that much is certain. But Marcum's future is a bit more cloudy.

Marcum is by no means an ace. He doesn't have electric stuff and he barely tops 90 on the radar gun. His success comes with his command. Without command, he looks more like a batting practice pitcher. When he's on top of his game, Marcum can shut down anybody. Consistency is what he brings to to the table. His arsenal may not be fully loaded, but you know what you're going to get—a quality start nearly every night.

However, Milwaukee seems unwilling to discuss an extension with Marcum. During Marcum's arbitration hearing in February, extension talks were nowhere to be found. At the halfway point of the season, nothing has changed. Melvin seems determined to let Marcum walk.

Why wouldn't Milwaukee attempt to re-sign its most consistent pitcher for the last year-and-a-half? After posting an ERA of 3.54 in 2011, are the Brewers just simply going to let him leave?

I'm not buying it.

If Marcum elects to go to free agency, the Brewers will have to fill the void of not only him, but also Greinke and Wolf. I just think that's too big of an order to fill.

Since re-signing Greinke is no longer an option, coming to terms with Shaun Marcum is the next best bet.