The Nationals signed starting pitcher Jason Marquis to a two-year, $15MM deal today. MASN was first to report the agreement yesterday, with MLB Network's Hazel Mae adding the length and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweeting the value. The Phillies and Mets were other clubs reportedly in the mix for the 31-year-old righty. Back on December 15th, Marquis explained to MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he found the ability to mentor the Nats' young pitching staff appealing.
Marquis racked up 216 innings for the Rockies this year with a 4.04 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 55.6% groundball rate. The Rox will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss. I have to wonder if Marquis agreed in advance to turn down their arbitration offer.
My take: this is an uninspired move by the Nationals. I understand that an innings-eater is needed to take pressure off young pitchers, but it's likely that similar pitchers will be available in March at a fraction of the commitment. Plus, unlike an Erik Bedard type gamble, Marquis doesn't have upside.