Twins, Jason Marquis Nearing Deal

The Twins are nearing a deal with free agent starter Jason Marquis, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ACES represents the 33-year-old right-hander.

Marquis made 23 starts for the Nationals and Diamondbacks this past season, finishing the year with a 4.43 ERA in 132 innings. His rate stats (5.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 55.1% ground ball rate) were right in line with his career averages (5.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 50.4% ground ball rate) and his average fastball checked in at 89.3 mph.

Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak are options for the Twins' rotation in 2012. Liriano may be able to bounce back from an up-and-down 2011 season, but the Twins will need improvement from others as well if their rotation is to become respectable in 2012. Twins starters finished the 2011 season with a 4.64 ERA (26th in MLB) and 5.8 K/9 (28th in MLB) in 961 innings (21st in MLB).

The Mets also had interest in the New York native this offseason. Marquis signed a two-year, $15MM contract with Washington when he hit free agency after the 2009 season.

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