With starting pitching the Cubs’ primary focus again this winter, they already have expressed interest in Athletics right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was having a good season until suffering a skull fracture when hit by a line drive in September. He underwent surgery and didn’t pitch again this season but appears to be healthy enough for a comeback effort in 2013. Brewers free agent Shaun Marcum, a 2009 Tommy John surgery graduate who missed two months in 2012 with elbow tightness, is another buy-low candidate the Cubs are eyeing — and a guy whose character they know well through manager Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio. Marcum came back to finish a not-terrible 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA in seven starts down the stretch in ’12.
Both Marcum and McCarthy had injury issues in 2012, as noted above; McCarthy after being hit in the head (and he's had shoulder trouble in the past), Marcum with his elbow. Both have had solid seasons when healthy, but that's been problematic for both of them.
McCarthy is 29 and perhaps has several good seasons ahead (if he can keep his head out of the way of baseballs); he has never made 30 starts in a season.
Marcum will be 31 in December, but made 30+ starts in both 2010 and 2011 before missing some starts with the elbow issues in 2012.
They're both righthanders. And then there's this from the 2011 playoffs, from Marcum:
Which should remind you of this, sort of:
What say you? Vote in the poll, have at it in the comments. I suspect the Cubs will wind up with one of these pitchers in the 2013 rotation.