Jason Marquis Rumors

Jack Of All Trades: Jason Marquis

To paraphrase the prominent philosopher Chico Escuela, "Jason Marquis been berry, berry good to MLB Trade Rumors."

Marquis has played for seven teams, and been rumored to go to countless others. Marquis and the New York Mets have been linked often enough in rumors that it was newsworthy this week, after the Minnesota Twins released him, that the Mets weren't pursuing the Staten Island native.

But the well-traveled Marquis has been traded several times. Let's take a closer look at what actually has transpired for this Atlanta Braves' first round pick back in 1996.

Marquis had established himself in Atlanta as a swingman, but an ineffective 2002 season prompted the Braves to shuttle him between the big club and Triple-A. Still Marquis was young, cost-controlled and his track record included some successes. Accordingly, Marquis became the centerpiece of a December 2003 trade with the Cardinals. St. Louis also received reliever Ray King and pitching prospect Adam Wainwright from Atlanta, giving up catcher Eli Marrero and outfielder J.D. Drew.

That deal was quite a coup for the Cardinals, with most pointing to the success enjoyed by Wainwright, who became a shutdown reliever in 2006, and an elite starter a season later. But Marquis also gave the Cardinals plenty of production. Over three seasons in St. Louis, he averaged better than 200 innings per season, and pitched to a better than league average ERA+ in his first two years. He even won a Silver Slugger award in 2005, hitting .310/.326/.460 for a manager, Tony La Russa, who was happy to bat him eighth.

But Marquis struggled mightily for the 2006 Cardinals. His ERA ballooned to 6.02, and he didn't pitch in the postseason for the eventual world champion Cardinals. St. Louis let him sign with their bitter rivals, the Chicago Cubs, where Marquis resumed his work as a marginally effective innings eater. Then in January 2009, the Cubs dealt Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for reliever Luis Vizcaino, who was on the cusp of breaking down after years of quality pitching.

Marquis, however, was far from finished. He made the All Star team for the Rockies, pitching to a career-best ERA+ of 116 over 216 innings. It was a good time for Marquis to be out of contract, and thus he signed a two-year, $15MM deal with the Washington Nationals. Alas, he promptly broke down himself, pitching to a 6.60 ERA over 58 2/3 innings in 2010 while missing much of the year with elbow problems.

Again, however, Marquis resurrected his career, pitching to a 3.95 ERA for the 2011 Nationals. Arizona needed pitching help, so the Diamondbacks traded minor league infielder Zachary Walters for Marquis at the non-waiver trade deadline. Marquis, three starts in, broke his fibula, costing him the rest of the season. Still, Minnesota decided to give him a $3MM contract to see what he had left in 2012. Earlier this week, the Twins decided it wasn't much.

Now 33, Marquis could be at the end of the line. But he's cheated baseball death before. It wouldn't be shocking to see him not only recover and pitch well, but even get traded once again. Jason Marquis is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving... to MLB Trade Rumors.

Mets Not Interested In Jason Marquis

The Mets have no interest in right-hander Jason Marquis, reports Mike Puma of The New York Post (on Twitter). He was designated for assignment by the Twins earlier today.

Marquis, 33, is a native New Yorker and has made no secret of his desire to pitch near home through the years. He posted an 8.47 ERA with more walks (14) than strikeouts (12) in seven starts and 34 innings for the Twins this season, but just last year he pitched to a 4.43 ERA in 132 innings for the Nationals and Diamondbacks.

Mike Pelfrey's injury has forced the likes of Miguel Batista and Jeremy Hefner into the Mets' rotation, so a fit between the club and Marquis seemed obvious.

Twins Designate Jason Marquis For Assignment

TUESDAY: The Twins announced that they designated Marquis for assignment and selected the contract of right-hander Cole DeVries.

MONDAY: The Twins are set to designate pitcher Jason Marquis for assignment, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The 33-year-old has struggled so far in 2012, posting an ERA of 8.47 with 3.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in seven starts.

The right-hander inked a one-year, $3MM deal with the Twins in December after picking up interest from other clubs, including the Mets.  Morosi notes that despite his struggles in Minnesota this year, the hurler has a history of success in the National League.

Marquis made 23 starts for the Nats and D'Backs in 2011, finishing the year with a 4.43 ERA, 5.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 across 132 innings.

Twins To Sign Jason Marquis

The Twins announced that they have agreed to sign right-handed starter Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3MM contract. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night that the Twins were nearing a deal with the 33-year-old ACES client.

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 LirianoCarl PavanoScott BakerNick BlackburnBrian 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 on this date two years ago the last time he was a free agent.

As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, Terry Ryan's first offseason back in the GM's office has been a busy one. The Twins have also signed Matt Capps, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham this winter. Marquis ranked 45th on MLBTR's list of top free agents this year.

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.

Mets Interested In Jason Marquis

The Mets have interest in signing Jason Marquis to replace Chris Capuano in their starting rotation, writes Ken Davidoff of Newsday. The Mets crossed Capuano off their list of targets due to his desire for a multiyear deal, we heard yesterday.

Marquis, 33, grew up in New York and has long expressed a desire to play for one of his hometown teams. Still, even with an apparent mutual interest between the Mets and the right-hander, there's no guarantee the two sides will work out an agreement. A person "in the know" told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (Twitter link) that it was way too soon to consider the likelihood of Marquis signing with the Mets.

Over the course of his last deal, a two-year, $15MM pact, Marquis started 36 games, compiling a 5.10 ERA, 5.1 K/9, and 3.2 BB/9 for the Nationals and Diamondbacks.

Quick Hits: Marquis, Aaron Hill, Ellis, Matsui

Dan Uggla's incredible 33-game hitting streak came to an end today. The Braves' slugger batted an insane .377/.438/.762 over that stretch with 15 homers, good for an even 1.200 OPS. Remarkably though, he still falls 23 games short of Joe DiMaggio's immortal record. Here are your Sunday links:

  • After fracturing a fibula today, new Diamondbacks acquisition Jason Marquis will miss four to six weeks.  SI's Jon Heyman tweets that it sounds like the team's inclination is to replace Marquis internally.  The Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro doesn't think the team will go with top draft pick Trevor Bauer for the rotation spot, but notes that it's not crazy to suggest it.  The 20-year-old Bauer tossed five scoreless innings today in his Double-A debut.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm, "We’re always open minded for Aaron [Hill] still being a long-term part of this team."  Anthopoulos notes that Hill has flashed his talent at times this year.  It's tough to picture the Jays picking up Hill's $8MM club option, but maybe they can work something out.
  • Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post tweets that he would be surprised if the Rockies don't re-sign second baseman Mark Ellis.  The 34-year-old had a .267/.304/.382 line in 139 plate appearances heading into tonight's action.
  • If Bob Melvin is managing the Athletics again in 2012, he wants them to bring Hideki Matsui back, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Matsui had just a .617 OPS in the season's first half, but has risen from the ashes to post a .410/.470/.630 slash line in 26 games since the All-Star Break.
  • Similarly, the Cubs and Carlos Pena both seem to be open to working out a new deal, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.  On a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney hears that "in some important corners of the Cubs' front office, there is concern about investing huge money in one player this winter."  In other words, the Cubs' brass might be wary of signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to play first base.
  • Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates can follow the path to prominence that their division rivals, the Brewers, followed to escape a similar tradition of losing.
  • Olney tweets that in three days, Drew Pomeranz can officially become the player to be named later from last month's Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Indians. Pomeranz is expected to report to the Rockies' Double-A affiliate in Tulsa.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.

Yankees Notes: Swisher, Sabathia, Soriano, Garcia

With a month and a half remaining in the regular season, Joel Sherman of the New York Post takes a look at a few subplots facing the Yankees as they prepare for the playoffs and the subsequent offseason. Let's check out the highlights....

  • Nick Swisher's OPS sat at .649 heading into June, but he's posted a .941 mark since then. Given his improved play, the Yankees will likely view his $10.25MM option for next year as reasonably priced, and bring him back.
  • It's nearly a certainty that C.C. Sabathia exercises his opt-out at season's end. Sherman sees the 31-year-old asking for a raise, from the four years and $92MM he'll have left, to no less than the seven years and $161MM he originally signed for.
  • Rafael Soriano has allowed one baserunner in six outings since coming off the DL, leading Sherman to wonder if the righty's opt-out could become a factor this winter. Considering how strong the relief market will be, I can't imagine even Scott Boras finding a deal better than the two years and $23MM Soriano has remaining on his current contract.
  • There's no guarantee Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia are Yankees next season, but Garcia projects as a Type B free agent, meaning the club figures to at least offer him arbitration.
  • Speaking of starters facing free agency, Jason Marquis tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that he'd love to represent his hometown and pitch for the Yankees or Mets. Taking into account their divisions and home parks, the Mets may be more appealing for Marquis than the Yanks, but either way, Marquis suggests he'll "explore that avenue when the season is done."

Quick Hits: Marquis, Pedroia, Mariners

A few links of note for my fellow night owls ...

  • Diamondbacks right-hander Jason Marquis may once again rekindle his interest in pitching for either his hometown Mets or Yankees this offseason when he enters free agency, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. “I’m a New York guy, and I have always dreamed of playing for the Yankees or Mets, representing my hometown," said Marquis. The veteran was thought to have talked with the Mets prior to 2010 before signing with the Nationals, although those talks apparently never became serious.
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com looks at the uniquely structured contract of Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. There's a lot going on with this deal, but the takeaway is that there are escalators that can kick in depending upon where Pedroia finishes in MVP voting. Check it out here at Cot's Baseball Contracts.
  • The Mariners have signed fifth-round pick Tyler Marlette, a high school catcher out of Florida, for $650K, writes Jim Callis of Baseball America. MLB's slot recommendation for the 153rd overall pick is $165.6K, according to Callis. Marlette was ranked No. 72 overall in BA's pre-draft rankings.

D'Backs Notes: Towers, Marquis, Giants

Paul Goldschmidt's first MLB home run came at the perfect time for the Diamondbacks, who defeated Tim Lincecum and the Giants behind the bat of their 23-year-old first base prospect last night. Here's the latest on the D'Backs, who are tied for the NL West lead with the Giants...

  • Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Jon Star of MLB.com that the biggest difference with the Diamondbacks is the back end of their bullpen. "They've got two new guys down there [J.J. Putz and David Hernandez] that made a huge difference, but also some other good arms. The pitching is much better."
  • GM Kevin Towers, who acquired Putz and Hernandez over the winter, told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he acquired Jason Marquis for the stretch run because he was reluctant to call minor leaguers like Jarrod Parker, Pat Corbin, Wade Miley and Tyler Skaggs up into the heat of a pennant race.
  • Towers says he initially hoped to add a couple relievers at the trade deadline, but changed course when other teams decided to keep their relievers. Instead, Towers acquired Marquis and Brad Ziegler.
  • Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News explains that the current series between San Francisco and Arizona has the makings of a pennant race precursor, though it's still early to be thinking in those terms.

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