Ranking the 5 Contenders Who Most Desperately Need Shaun Marcum Waiver Trade

Doug MeadCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2012

Ranking the 5 Contenders Who Most Desperately Need Shaun Marcum Waiver Trade

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    With the waiver trade deadline looming at midnight Friday ET, a potential name thrown into the mix could very well have several teams jockeying for his services—Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum.

    Marcum was placed on waivers by the Brewers on Tuesday.

    Marcum returned from the disabled list last Saturday, giving up four unearned runs in five innings in a 4-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Marcum had been sidelined with right elbow tightness for seven weeks.

    Marcum is a free agent at the end of the season and is owed roughly $1.5 million for the remainder of the season, meaning that whoever tries to deal for Marcum will be expected to pick up that money for roughly six or seven starts.

    It's a gamble, especially since teams have only seen Marcum throw once since returning from the DL.

    But hey, gambles are a part of baseball, right?

    Here is a ranking of five teams who could well be interested in acquiring Marcum for the final month of the season and possible postseason play.

5. New York Yankees

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    With Ivan Nova now on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation, the New York Yankees could be in play for the services of Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum.

    CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Freddy Garcia and David Phelps man the current rotation, but depth is not a strong suit for the Yankees right now.

    Marcum has been battle tested in the AL East, posting a 37-25 record and 3.85 ERA in his five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Not a huge priority for the Yankees, but with a hot Baltimore Orioles team breathing down their necks, depth in the rotation is never a bad thing to have in the final few weeks of the season.

4. Baltimore Orioles

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    Speaking of the aforementioned Baltimore Orioles, they have already added Joe Saunders, who gets his first start for his new team on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.

    It's entirely possible that Duquette could try to roll the dice on newly-waivered Shaun Marcum as well.

    Possible, but not probable.

    Duquette has Jason Hammel returning from the disabled list, possibly as early as Sept. 6, so the addition of Saunders along with the returning Hammel to add to the rotation along with Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez gives manager Buck Showalter plenty of starting options.

    The O's also added Randy Wolf, although it's unclear whether he'll be used as a starter or reliever at this point.

    Marcum would be a nice get, but not one of priority at this point.

3. Chicago White Sox

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    The Chicago White Sox placed starting pitcher Gavin Floyd on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain on Tuesday, leaving the White Sox with a hole to fill.

    Dylan Axelrod was called up to replace Floyd on the roster and will start on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles.

    The addition of Shaun Marcum would give the White Sox a veteran arm down the stretch. Both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have been outstanding thus far, but both are just 23 years of age and both have already thrown more innings than ever in their brief professional careers.

    With the White Sox desperately trying to hold off the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, Marcum could be a piece that makes the difference.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    The Pittsburgh Pirates made a statement on Tuesday night, rolling over Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals in a 9-0 whitewash.

    With their win, the Pirates emphatically stated they're not going to go away quietly.

    Adding Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum would help make that statement.

    The Pirates released veteran Erik Bedard on Tuesday, not willing to go into battle in the final five weeks of the season with a flailing pitcher with an ERA over 5.00.

    Adding Marcum sends a statement to the Cardinals and everyone else in the NL vying for playoff contention that they're still a team to reckon with.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    On Wednesday afternoon, starting pitcher Joe Blanton will get another chance to show the Los Angeles Dodgers that he can be valuable down the stretch.

    Blanton gets the start against the Colorado Rockies, and thus far, his time in LA hasn't exactly been well-spent, posting a 7.71 ERA in four starts since his trade from the Philadelphia Phillies.

    It's obvious by now that the Dodgers are in it to win it, and even after their mega-deal with the Boston Red Sox last week, they're still sniffing around for help.

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported last week that the Dodgers were still looking for pitching help—Shaun Marcum certainly fits that bill.

    The Dodgers have already picked up $262.5 million in salary from the deal with the Red Sox alone—what's another $1.5 million?

     

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.