On-Base Perception

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Shaun Marcum signs with Mets

Milwaukee Brewers starter Shaun Marcum delivers a pitch

Milwaukee Brewers starter Shaun Marcum delivers a pitch during a game against the Chicago Cubs. (Aug. 30, 2012) (Credit: AP)

The Mets have signed their first free agent of the offseason, a source confirmed Thursday morning, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum.

Terms have yet to be disclosed, though the deal is pending the completion of a physical.

The signing, first reported by CBS Sports, gives the Mets five starting pitchers for its rotation. It fills the vacancy left by the trade of reigning Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronti.

And with their starting pitching covered, the Mets can follow through with their plan to give top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler time for more seasoning at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Marcum finished 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA as elbow issues limited him to just 124 innings last season. But when healthy, the right-hander has enjoyed success. In parts of seven big league seasons with the Blue Jays and the Brewers, Marcum is 57-36 with  3.76 ERA.

The move may be the first in a flurry for the Mets as the beginning of spring training looms. The team is still in need of an outfielder and have reportedly explored the once far-fetched notion of signing free agent Michael Bourn. They also need at least one veteran reliever in the bullpen and have been linked to former Giants closer Brian Wilson.

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