The Reds announced that they’ve signed veteran right-hander Jason Marquis to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league Spring Training.
The 36-year-old Marquis, a client of ACES, spent much of the 2014 campaign recovering from Tommy John surgery and worked out in front of Reds scouts last May before ultimately signing a minor league deal with the Phillies. In 51 2/3 innings with the Phillies’ minor league affiliates, he posted a combined 4.1 ERA with a 43-to-13 K/BB ratio.
Marquis’ most recent Major League work came as a member of the Padres, with whom he spent parts of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Signed by the Twins in 2012, Marquis hurled 34 dreadful innings with Minnesota (8.47 ERA) before latching on with the Friars and working to a 4.05 ERA in 211 1/3 innings from 2012-13. In total, the sinker specialist has worked to a 4.56 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 50.7 percent ground-ball rate in 1921 career innings between the Braves, Cardinals, Padres, Twins, Cubs, Nationals, D-Backs and Rockies. And, as far as pitchers go, he’s respectable with the bat, as evidenced by a .196/.214/.278 career batting line. (The league-average pitcher hit .122/.153/.153 in 2014.)
The Reds have traded away a pair of starters this offseason in Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, so it’s not surprising to see the club pursuing possible depth options in the rotation. Currently, Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani project as the top four starters in Cincinnati’s rotation. Marquis, then, will presumably compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, going up against the likes of right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (acquired from the Marlins in the Latos trade), Dylan Axelrod and David Holmberg.