Redskins

Marcum and Mets finalize one-year deal

Marcum and Mets finalize one-year deal

NEW YORK (AP) Shaun Marcum was excited to sign with the New York Mets because they offered him an opportunity to pitch every five days. As for replacing R.A. Dickey, that will take a team effort.

``I think if all five starters go out there and do their job, stay healthy, get to the goal of 200-plus innings then I think just that will fill R.A's shoes in itself,'' Marcum said during a conference call Wednesday.

Despite the possible pressure of being seen as Dickey's replacement, Marcum felt comfortable coming to New York thanks to a couple of familiar faces.

Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi - then the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays - drafted Marcum in the third round of the 2003 draft out of Missouri State, and the right-hander says his old boss played a key role in this signing.

Marcum's one-year contract became official Wednesday. He will earn $4 million in salary and can earn $2.25 million in performance bonuses and $1.75 million in roster bonuses.

He would get $250,000 for each for 120, 140, 160 and 170 innings pitched, $375,000 apiece for 180 and 190 and $500,000 for 200.

He also can make $375,000 each for 90 and 120 days on the active roster or on the DL for an injury other than to his right arm, and $500,000 apiece for 150 and 170.

The 31-year-old Marcum also knows the Mets new catcher, John Buck, well. They were teammates for what Marcum called his best season in the majors, 2010 in Toronto. Buck came from the Blue Jays to New York in the trade for Dickey, a swap that included four catchers.

``Having him behind the plate, that comfort level, getting to spring training I don't have to try to go over my game plan with three or four different catchers,'' Marcum said. ``John already knows how I pitch.''

Marcum went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts in 2010, a year after he had elbow-reconstruction surgery. He missed two months last season with Milwaukee because of more elbow trouble but says he is now fully healthy.

``We did MRIs, all that stuff, did another one this winter. The main thing was it wasn't the flexor tendon, the ligament or anything like that. Everybody was happy, I'm happy,'' Marcum said. ``Now it's just about going out and pitching and doing whatever I can to help the Mets.''

Marcum joins a Mets' rotation that includes left-handers Johan Santana and Jonathon Niese, and righties Matt Harvey, a rookie, and Dillon Gee, none of whom reached 200 innings last season. The signing does allow New York to keep right-hander Zack Wheeler - rated the No. 8 prospect by MLB.com - in the minors at least a little longer.

In order to reach his goal of pitching 200 innings for the second time in his seven-year career, Marcum has been throwing more during the offseason than in the past.

``The philosophy I was brought up in was kind of `Save your bullets, don't throw too much,''' he said of his professional career. ``I kind of went back to my old high school, college days when my arm was feeling great. I was throwing as much as I possibly could. Throwing every single day. Throwing more distance. Long-tossing out to 280, 300 feet. And I've just been building up that arm strength. And I've had no problems since I started my program.''

In 21 starts for Milwaukee last year, he was 7-4 with a 3.71 ERA. Overall, he is 57-36 with a 3.76 ERA.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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Looking for a free burger? Sit close to Redskins QB Alex Smith

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Looking for a free burger? Sit close to Redskins QB Alex Smith

Pro tip: If you see new Redskins quarterback Alex Smith in a restaurant, try to sit close by.

Talk to teammates and media from San Francisco or Kansas City, the two cities Smith played in before coming to Washington, and stories like this emerge. His reputation for generosity and random kindness is as consistent as his ability to move the football with his legs and not throw many interceptions.

His foundation is heralded as one of the best in the NFL, where more than 90 percent of funds raised actually go towards charity, significantly higher than the national average. Once traded from Kansas City, Smith wrote a letter on The Player's Tribune thanking fans:

Thank you to the Chiefs Kingdom for being some of the craziest, most dedicated fans in the country. And thank you to the Kansas City community and all the friends my family and I have made during our time with you. To see all the farewell donations that have been made to the Alex Smith Foundation — all in increments of 11 — has been really special. It’s a tremendous gesture that my family and I have been very touched by. We appreciate you. We’re better people because we were fortunate enough to spend the last five years with you.

So what might have Smith ordered at Bareburger DC? Let's take a guess from their online menu. 

  • The Buckaroo - Beef, aged cheddar, smoked brisket, wild mushrooms, smoke sauce, brioche bun - After spending a few years in Kansas City, Smith might have acquired the taste for brisket on burgers. Who knows.

  • El Matador - Beef, queso fresco, guacamole, spicy pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, green leaf, brioche bun - Smith is a SoCal kid, so maybe he needed the guac and bold flavors of his youth. 

  • Impossible Burger - American cheese, caramelized onions, dill pickles, green leaf, special sauce, brioche bun -The Redskins mission is getting to the playoffs, and many oddsmakers view that as impossible. Maybe Alex wanted to embrace it?

  • So Cal - Turkey, aged cheddar, guacamole, pickled red onions, alfalfa, sprout bun - Again, Smith is from Southern California, and this burger sounds pretty healthy. You don't get to look like this picture below by eating too many Buckaroos. 


Here's the truth: Smith is cool and bought a bunch of random people dinner. What's cooler: He doesn't have or use social media to broadcast when he does random nice acts. 

This week he and the Redskins travel to Richmond for training camp, and things will get serious about football and the 2018 season. Enjoy the fun stuff for now. 

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10 Questions in 10 Days: After Kerrigan and Preston, do the Redskins have enough pass rush?

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10 Questions in 10 Days: After Kerrigan and Preston, do the Redskins have enough pass rush?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

No. 5: What can the Redskins expect from Derrius Guice?

No. 4: After Josh Norman, what's the plan at cornerback?

No. 3: After Kerrigan and Preston, do the Redskins have enough pass rush?

Ryan Kerrigan does not get the national respect he deserves. Year after year, Kerrigan proves to be one of the best sack specialists in the NFL. Last season, he finished tied for fourth in the NFL with 13 sacks, and ranks in the Top 5 for sacks over the last three years. 

Kerrigan is durable and more than capable, and gives the Washington defense an anchor at outside linebacker. Opposite Kerrigan comes Preston Smith, a fourth-year player that has shown a ton of potential and the ability to take over games. 

Smith is yet to go for double digit sacks in a season, but going into a contract year, this might be his best shot. He also contributes in other ways; an ability to tip passes and grab interceptions, force fumbles with his long frame, and even enough speed to keep up in some pass coverages. 

Kerrigan is a high-end Mercedes Benz. Smith is a 3-series BMW with a chance at the M3 engine. After that, the cars don't look so good. 

Make no mistake: Free agent addition Pernell McPhee could be a great value signing for Washington. If he stays healthy.

He hasn't played a 16-game season since 2014, and last year, he started just five games and logged only four sacks. His frame is much bigger than a typical 3-4 outside linebacker, which means he might help more against the run in base defense. McPhee graded out well by Pro Football Focus last year, and plenty of scouts think he can deliver this fall. Again, if he stays healthy. 

After McPhee comes second-year man Ryan Anderson. He delivered zero as a rookie. Zero. 

Plenty of players, however, make a big improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Maybe Anderson is that player in 2018. 

A second-round pick in 2017, Anderson played sparingly in 14 games last year and delivered just 11 tackles. No sacks. Coaches said Anderson was not in NFL shape when he arrived as a rookie, but that excuse won't fly this time around in training camp.

The Redskins need Anderson now, in a way the team did not last year. 

Going to camp in 2017, outside linebacker had strong depth. Kerrigan, Smith, Trent Murphy and Junior Galette were the veterans Anderson could learn behind. Now Murphy is in Buffalo and Galette is unsigned. 

There is some hint that Galette could still land back in Washington. The team does not have a true speed rusher, and Galette would change that immediately. Kerrigan is a brute force tactician, and Smith is an athletic handful, but neither possess the speed of Galette. 

That signing seems like a long shot, and odds are the Redskins will need a lot from Anderson or McPhee. Or both. Neither Kerrigan nor Smith has ever missed a game in their career, a remarkable feat, but hardly something the organization should rely on. 

Improved play along the interior of the defensive line will help the outside by a large margin. If Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis collapse pockets from the inside, then Kerrigan and Smith will feast off the edges. 

That could trickle down for McPhee and Anderson as well. But much as the defensive line improves with more depth and rotating players, so too does outside pass rush. Washington made a smart move to bolster their interior defensive line this offseason, but it left the defense a little leaner on the outside. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

#REDSKINSTALK PODCAST

Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.