7:28pm: Ken Rosenthal confirms what most people are saying–that this deal is close, but not yet official.
7:11pm: Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald calls the deal "possible, but not done yet." Additionally, says Miles, the deal is apparently "more in the Rockies’ hands than the Cubs’ right now."
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times says a deal is "close," and suggests a Milton Bradley signing may be the next move for the Cubs.
6:20pm: This story has been confirmed by Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
While the deal likely won’t be official until next week, it looks like the Cubs will be paying $1MM of Marquis’ salary in 2009. That makes a net reduction of roughly $5MM in payroll for the Cubs.
4:44pm: According to ESPN’s Steve Phillips, the Cubs and Rockies are close to a swap of starter Jason Marquis for reliever Luis Vizcaino (saw it scroll across the screen on ESPN2). Marquis is set to earn $9.875MM in ’09, while Vizcaino will make $3.5MM plus a $4MM option for 2010 with a $500K buyout.
Marquis, 30, tossed 167 innings of 4.53 ball in 2008. He did roughly the same in ’07. Vizcaino, 34, posted a 5.28 ERA in 46 innings. He dealt with a strained shoulder and later expressed concerns that he didn’t pitch enough. His velocity was up from ’07 and he whiffed more than a batter per inning, but he was done in by walks and home runs. Vizcaino added a DUI to his resume in October.