As we approach the busy months that make up free agency on MLB’s calendar, the Washington Nationals have very few roster needs that they need to fix. However, the team does have the cash if they want to pursue a starting pitcher. Is it possible that Jason Marquis could return to Washington?
In 2014, Marquis will be entering his 14th season as a starting pitcher in MLB. While his time in Washington wasn’t exactly glamorous, his departure was something that was needed at the time. When the Nationals traded Marquis to in late April of 2012, it was something that was needed since he was beginning to struggle and his contract was up at season’s end.
Just because it was needed, however, that doesn’t mean it was easy to let him go. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told reporters back when the move was made that Marquis was really feeling at home in Washington.
Perhaps it’s time to bring him home again? In 20 starts with Washington, he went 8-5 with a 3.96 ERA. Like I said, it’s not glamorous, but it’s not awful. His time was also cut short due to bone chips in his throwing elbow that cut short his 2010 season.
Since leaving Washington, Marquis hasn’t gotten any worse. In 2013 with the San Diego Padres, he went 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA. If the Nationals are looking for a starter to fill in at the back end of their rotation, Marquis just might be the guy for the job.
He’ll come in at a fairly low price. In 2013, they paid Dan Haren $13 million for all of those mid-game collapses. Marquis should come in at a number well below that figure. The Padres paid him $3 million last season, so something between $3-5 million is something to be expected.
The other option that we have discussed for the Nationals is Ublado Jimenez. Jimenez will likely come at a price much higher than Marquis. If the Nationals want to get a good deal, going with Marquis would obviously be the better. Both pitchers have been inconsistent and come with risks, but the Nats are losing less financially by going with Marquis.
Whether it’s staying in-house or going to the free agent market, the Nationals need to address the fourth and fifth spots in their rotation. If they decide they’re going to look towards the market for the final two spots, Marquis just might be a guy on their radar.