Friday, February 25, 2011

Is Jason Marquis Trade Bait?

The approaching 2011 season continues to get baseball fans across the country excited. The question that everyone wants to know is: Will my team be competitive? In the case of the Nationals, it's likely that they'll be better than last season, but still won't make a playoff push. So what does that do for the few guys that are making a ton of money this year as the trade deadline approaches?

A few things are sure. Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth aren't going anywhere. So who's next on the list in salary for 2011? Jason Marquis. Actually, Marquis will make the same amount as Werth this season, and more than Ryan Zimmerman. What's wrong with that picture?

Anyways, whether Marquis has a successful 2011 or not, the Nationals may not be willing to pay that kind of money ($7.5 million per year) again to sign him beyond this season. Meanwhile, some fringe contenders might be willing to eat some or all of his contract in order to have a veteran pitcher on the roster for a playoff push. Clearly the prospects of this happening will be greater if Marquis has a successful first half since his value will be higher.

I'm among those that are extremely skeptical of the possibility of Marquis' success in 2011. Even after his recovery from surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow, he was incredibly inconsistent toward the end of the season. I do take into account his injury and that he may not have been 100%. So perhaps my prejudgement is unfair. But I hope for the best and another guy that can eat up innings and provide 15 wins like he did just 2 short seasons ago in Colorado. Either way though, success or not in 2011, I'd imagine Marquis is somewhere on the Nationals trading block.


  1. I would have to disagree with your comment about Marquis being wildly inconsistent towards the end of the season. In his last 8 starts of the season he gave up 1, 1, 3, 1, 2, 6, 2, 1 earned runs. He also pitched 5, 5.2, 7.1, 6, 6, .1, 6, 6 innings in those games. To me that looks like the model of consistency with 1 bad game mixed in.

  2. Well since he's not signed for next year, that makes it even more obvious he's available for a trade. If he plays out the year and becomes a free agent, we may get nothing for him. So getting something of reasonable value is only a positive.
    But be prepared to eat your words about being skeptical that Marquis can have a successful 2011. Injury free perhaps, contract year, highly motivated, always been a real competitor. I think he's more likely to put together a really good season than he is to flop.

  3. I definitely see that as a possibility sparky. I'd love to see the Marquis of not-so-old have a resurgent last-year-under-contract season. Nothing I'd like more than to eat my own words here.

  4. Marquis seriously underperformed his own numbers last year, he should be better in 2011. Still though, the Nats really don't need to be giving an average (at best) pitcher $7.5M. Even if they only get the proverbial bag of balls for him, they should deal him.