clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Indians sign Shaun Marcum and Dustin Molleken to minor league deals

Tribe signs Marcum and Dustin Molleken, whom I'll cop to never having heard of before today.

Maybe we'll finally get a picture of Marcum in and Indians uniform... * PHOTO
Maybe we'll finally get a picture of Marcum in and Indians uniform... * PHOTO
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Indians have signed right-handed pitchers Shaun Marcum and Dustin Molleken to minor league deals, and given each of them an invitation to spring training, which is still like seven years away.

Marcum was signed by the Tribe to the same sort of deal last offseason. He proved not yet ready to return from shoulder surgery though, and didn't pitch in a game at any level until August. He pitched a total of 15.1 innings during 8 appearances (none longer than 3 innings) for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. His strikeout and walk rates were not impressive, but he did manage a 2.35 ERA. I don't think it makes sense to read much of anything good or bad into his 2014 numbers though, so small was the sample.

Marcum turns 33 next month, so his best days are almost certainly behind him, but he's still young enough to pitch well, if things together for him. In the last three years though he's thrown only 202.1 innings, with an adjusted ERA and FIP that are both a little below league average. He's never had great velocity, and what he does have has been in a slow but steady decline for half a decade.

The Tribe rotation was awesome during the final couple months of the season, and so it's easy to feel like starting pitching is a strength. Corey Kluber is the only one of those guys who was doing well as a starter all season though, so it's also easy to feel like there are an awful lot of question marks in the rotation, and depth is needed. I'm not holding my breath for Marcum to pitch well for the Indians, but he is the kind of pitcher the Indians should be adding: one who is cheap and has a non-zero chance of doing reasonably well, if called upon.

Molleken is a 30-year-old righty who has been in professional baseball since 2003 (when he was a 15th round draft pick), but has never appeared in an MLB game. He was in the Pirates' system through 2010, then spent the next two years in the Rockies' system, and the last two years in the Brewers' system. He spent 2014 in Triple-A, pitching 74.1 innings of relief in 54 appearances. His 4.84 ERA was not impressive, but he did strike out a career high 10.8 batters per 9 innings. He seems like a longshot to make the roster, but spring training needs longshots.