Report says Marcum on trade waivers

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he has not fielded any recent interest in resurgent reliever Francisco Rodriguez. But right-handed starter Shaun Marcum could be a much hotter commodity, with reporting that the Brewers placed Marcum on revocable waivers Tuesday in a strategically-timed move that positions the team to trade him before the weekend.

Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash cited Major League rules in declining to say this week whether the team had placed Marcum or Rodriguez — both free agents after this season — on waivers, a necessary step in order to trade a player after July 31.

The timing of Tuesday’s reported waiver move made perfect sense in Marcum’s case. It’s no coincidence that the Brewers timed Marcum’s return from an elbow injury such that he started Saturday in Pittsburgh and is scheduled to pitch again on Thursday afternoon against the Cubs, a day and a half before the 10:59 p.m. CT deadline for contending teams to trade for a player and have him eligible for Postseason Play.

According to the report, Marcum’s waiver period expires at noon CT on Thursday, just before that start. If he is claimed, the Brewers would have until the Friday night deadline to negotiate a trade with that team. If unable to make a trade, the Brewers could pull Marcum back from the waiver wire.

If no team makes a claim, then the Brewers could trade Marcum to any club.

In either scenario, Milwaukee would be in a much stronger position should Marcum pitch well against the Cubs, against whom he is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four career starts.

Marcum is due to earn about $1.3 million of his $7.725 million salary after Friday’s Trade Deadline. That savings is significant to the Brewers, who pushed the payroll over $100 million this season for the first time in franchise history but were unable to replicate last year’s success. Melvin already traded right-hander Zack Greinke to the Angels for three prospects, including new shortstop Jean Segura, and about $4.5 million in payroll relief.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made a case over the weekend for a contending club to consider Marcum.

He was 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA in 13 starts before developing stiffness in his right elbow after a June 14 outing at Kansas City.

“Why wouldn’t you?” take a look at Marcum, Roenicke asked. “The guy can flat-out pitch.”


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