With Zack Wheeler set to make his long-awaited debut next week, the Mets will soon have a decision to make — whom to remove from the rotation. Speculation is that it will be either Dillon Gee or Jeremy Hefner. It should be Shaun Marcum. The conventional wisdom is that the Mets will never dump Marcum because of his salary, but the Mets could actually save some money by sending him away.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about performance on the field. Shaun Marcum is 0-8 with a 5.43 ERA. Do I really need to say any more? Gee and Hefner are not All-Stars, but they are also not 0-8 with a 5.43 ERA.
Also, Marcum is clearly not part of the team’s future. He is nothing but a placeholder. Gee and Hefner could still be part of the team next season, so it would behoove the Mets to find out what these players really are.
Okay, now to the money. Shaun Marcum is making $4 million this season. That money is already spent. However, Marcum has incentives that could theoretically double his salary. They are not performance based, but health based.
Marcum missed the first month of the season, so he will not meet all of his incentives. If he finishes the season in the rotation he would likely throw around 150 innings. That adds another $500,000 to his salary. If he remains on the active roster, he’ll get another $1.25 million.
So if the Mets were to release Marcum now, they would save $1.75 million. For a penny-pinching team like the Mets, that is a lot of money.
Think about it — the Mets would save money and rid the team of its worst pitcher. That is win-win. But will they do it? Probably not. The Mets will see that big $4 million and try to squeeze something out of it. Then again, the Mets ate Jason Bay’s $18 million and Shaun Marcum is just as bad as Bay ever was. So stay tuned.