Indians sign Marcum, Molleken to minor league deals
The Indians are looking to add inexpensive and flexible starting pitching depth this offseason and Marcum fits that bill. The 32-year old originally signed last offseason and was recovering from right shoulder surgery to help alleviate symptons of thoracic outlet syndrome before he made a late season return to the mound in the minors. He made nine appearances between rookie level Arizona (1 game) and Triple-A Columbus last season (8 games) going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and in 17.1 innings allowed 11 hits, 7 walks and had 13 strikeouts. ibe.
Over his eight year Major League career Marcum is 58-46 with a 3.88 ERA in 188 appearances. He is slated to open the 2015 season in the Triple-A Columbus rotation, though if he proves healthy and effective in the spring he could spark interest from other teams. If the Indians do not have a spot on the Major League roster at the conclusion of spring training but he has a chance to pitch on a Major League roster elsewhere they will surely allow him to leave for such an opportunity.
Molleken, 30, was in the Brewers organization last season and pitched at Triple-A Nashville going 5-4 with a 4.84 ERA in 54 appearances, and in 74.1 innings allowed 71 hits, 35 walks and had 89 strikeouts. He has spent all 11 seasons of his pro career in the minors and owns a career record of 33-22 with a 4.90 ERA in 283 appearances. He will likely fill a bullpen role at Triple-A Columbus or Double-A Akron as a versatile arm who fills multiple roles. Veteran minor league pitchers are often preferred in swing roles to use in almost any role in the pen and use as often as needed to help protect more valuable young arms still viewed as prospects.