Free Agent Spotlight: Jason Marquis

Let the Winter Meetings begin ! And since we’re on the free agent topic of starting pitchers, let’s stick with Jason Marquis.
Marquis was drafted in 1996 by the Atlanta Braves. His debut was in 2000, and he spent the following 3 years in the ATL. These years were rough for Marquis, as he never really showed improvement stats wise, going 14-15 with a 4.45 ERA. He lost his starting job for nearly all of 2003. In 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals took the risk of signing Marquis and naming him a starter. That year, Marquis broke out with a 15-7 record and a 3.71 ERA in 200+ innings. In his 3 seasons in St. Louis, he gave up 26, 29, and 35 home runs, which is a ridiculous amount. Marquis’ worst year in STL was in 2006, in which he went 14-16 with an awful 6.02 ERA, as the Cards went on to win the World Series. He spent the next two seasons in Chicago with positive records, and this past season in Colorado, where he was 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA; people thought he was the mid-season MVP before his ERA shot up.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Now, the question: should the Yanks sign him? While his career record is 94-83, his ERA is 4.48, which is very high for a longtime starter. His home runs allowed have gone down dramatically since his 3 years in STL. Marquis could be a good fit as the Yankees fourth or fifth starter, definitely not third. His inconsistency can be scary, and you know Yankee fans would jump on him if he does poorly as the 3rd starter. He isn’t a strikeout machine, but he does have accuracy. Another concern would be expecting him to jump into the AL, considering his entire career has been in the NL. He’s 31 years old and has good stuff. Look for a 4 year, $41 MM deal (around $10.2 mil/year) if he should get one.
Marquis grew up in Manhasset, NY, on Long Island. He went to the Little League World Series in 1991, where he pitched two no-hitters in the quarterfinals and 3rd Place game. He grew up a huge Yankee fan, and a Don Mattingly fan. This could effect his decision to play in pinstripes if the Yankees pursue…

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  1. Rob A from BBD
    December 7, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    I hope that the Yankees wouldn't do anything stupid like signing this guy. He'll have a 5.50 ERA in the AL East. Could you imagine him facing the Red Sox? Game over.

  2. Brandon
    December 7, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    Bad ERA, quality innings. That's still an OK 5th starter

  3. Stephen A. Crociata
    December 7, 2009 at 5:02 PM

    Only 5 HR allowed in 16 starts @ Coors last season and 10 HR in 15 starts in Wrigley the year before that. Even if he is not a top 3 starter for the right amount he can be a steal as a #4-5 guy for the Yanks. Just to add in 2 starts @ Fenway he has a 2.87 ERA not a lot to base on but it could be much worse.

  4. Wyatt
    December 10, 2009 at 9:12 AM

    I'd say he probably tops Sergio Mitre, right? I'm still not convinced that we'll see both Hughes and Chamberlain in the rotation. For the right money, it might be a chance worth taking. The NL to AL jump does scare me though. But he's a Mattingly fan, damn it!

  5. Dan Reiner
    December 10, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Yes I see Marquis better than Mitre in all aspects except maybe home runs allowed. Otherwise I'll take Marquis in a heartbeat. The jump is scary for most pitchers if they've spent their entire career in the opposite league. Other than that I think he would love to play for the Yanks.

  6. Brandon
    December 10, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    I say either or for Joba and Hughes maybe based on spring training. I still say they sign/trade for at least one more starter leaving one spot for aceves/joba/hughes.I say hughes gets the spot joba goes to the pen and surpriser: aceves goes back to AAA to work as a starter with Gaudin (either tendered OR resigned) being the long reliever

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