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Nats to sign Marquis

Satisfying their longstanding need for a top-of-the-rotation veteran, the Washington Nationals are on the verge of finalizing a deal with right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis, according to a source. The two-year contract, worth $15 million, depends on Marquis passing a physical.

Marquis, 31, was an all star last season with Colorado, going 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA. In 10 major league seasons, he has a 94-83 record and a 4.48 ERA. Most pertinent to Washington's needs, he is durable. In five of the last six seasons, he has thrown 190 innings or more.

Nationals team officials have not confirmed the signing, but the organization issued a release announcing a Tuesday press conference, scheduled for 2:30 p.m., for the signing of an unspecified free agent.

Marquis is a lifetime National League pitcher known for a strong sinker. Only five pitchers in the majors last season induced a greater percentage of ground ball outs.

By joining the Nationals, Marquis will become the de facto ace of an otherwise young rotation. As it happens, many of the team's starters -- John Lannan, Craig Stammen, J.D. Martin -- fit the Marquis prototype, relying on finesse rather than strikeouts.

This continues an active offseason for the Nationals, who earlier this month signing free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez and traded for hard-throwing relief pitcher Brian Bruney.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 21, 2009; 4:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

omg, omg, omg. holding breath.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Washington to the grand marquis

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 21, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Free-agent pitcher Jason Marquis has agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Washington Nationals, sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Monday.

The deal is pending a physical.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I really love Ksaten's rule of only signing free agent pitchers to one or two year deals.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

LOL, just went back and you guys (i.e, commenters) had this an hour ago (BANG).

(my exclamation point key is broken)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I can't freakin' believe this.

I think we're going to win us some games, ya'll.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if Marquis qualifies as "top of the rotation" veteran as much as he qualifies as a veteran starter. But he will be an improvement over the 5+ era crew of last year.

Posted by: tboss | December 21, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Love Kasten's rule of only signing FA pitchers to 1-2 year deals?? That rule is the worst.

Show me how many Cy Youngs out there roll on 2 year deals? Or how many CY-in-waiting types? Or how many number 2 SP's? How many SP's who can be expected really make an impact? The rule of only signing SP's on short-term deals (if that is indeed Kasten's edict) largely gets you the bunch of lack-luster to crappy SP's for which you paid. The back to back 100 loss campaigns are testament.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 21, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

dfh21, you are a trip. Name a single starter we had in the rotation the past two 100 loss seasons of Marquis's quality. Tim Redding? Please. Ok, so he's not a #1, not even a #2. But a #3 is better than we've had, and the two year deal makes sense as our younger pitchers develop. I'm sure if he could have inked a longer deal with another team he would have. But I'm glad he decided to come to DC. This sounds like excellent news to me.

Posted by: Section222 | December 21, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit confused -- a 4.48 lifetime ERA qualifies someone to be at the top of a rotation, even the Nat's rotation? I just looked up Odalis Perez -- lifetime ERA 4.46. It must be those intangibles.

Posted by: ammonite88 | December 21, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

There had better be more than this, there is not much "magic" in the Marquis signing. And neither Davis nor Garland is very exciting either.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 21, 2009 4:32 PM

********
You're weird.

Who do YOU recommend that's better, smart guy?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of how the contract is structured, an average of $7.5 mil/year for Marquis isn't bad at all. He wasn't my favorite name off the list of the free-agent pitchers that the Nats were targeting, but he's far from the worst.

And much like the Pudge signing, now the Nats have forced other teams looking for similar talents to scramble. Locking up the guy you want early can have all kinds of repercussions in the free-agent market.

Now, one more starter, Capps (or someone similar), a decent middle infielder, and an extension on Dunn...

Still work to be done, but IMO a great start to the offseason.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Kasten and company managed to assemble the best starting rotation in my lifetime and keep them together for a good while.

Posted by: markfromark | December 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe anyone would complain about this. Marquis is the best starter we've had since 2005, and we beat out the Mets and Phillies to get him.

I'm with NatsNut. Lets get Garland, Capps, a middle infielder, and lock up Dunn longterm. Can't wait to get to Viera.

Posted by: raymitten | December 21, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Jason Marquis DOB 08/21/78 6'1" 210
2009 NL All-Star w/Rockies
Fangraphs 2009 Dollar Value $17.1 million

Can he repeat '09 career year? Unlikely. However, I'll take Marquis anyday of the week over Garland. Good move by the Nats IMO.

Posted by: Keenan1 | December 21, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Kasten and company managed to assemble the best starting rotation in my lifetime and keep them together for a good while.

Posted by: markfromark

--------------------

Indeed they did, and Greg Maddux was the only flashy free agent they signed. Most of the rest (Glavine, Smoltz, Avery) were home grown.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Marquis is a lifetime National League pitcher known for a strong sinker."

Maybe this will bring Barry back. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Keeping my fingers crossed that this works out. This would be a great signing, in his 10-year career, during which every team he has been on has made the postseason, he is 94-83 with a 4.48 ERA. We probably had to pay a premium to get him, but remember the gem he threw at us at Coors last year?

Posted by: NatsMan21 | December 21, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm still adjusting to the fact that the team identified offseason needs (starting pitching, relief pitching, catcher) and has affirmatively taken steps to fill those needs. Is Marquis a "great" or even "very good" pitcher? No, but he's a solid, dependable starter signed to a reasonable deal. It's a sign that the Nats are playing the game like adults - identifying their needs and filling them. (And paying for them.) That change is more important than Marquis's career ERA.

Posted by: Section220 | December 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Nice belated Chanukah gift to have fellow tribesman Jason Marquis sign with the Nats!

Posted by: Scruffy3 | December 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Sec222 -- you made my point. When you do not sign SP's of any quality, guess what, you don't have many pitchers of quality.

The idea that the club will have 4-5 very good SP's on the farm to use over the next few years -- when literally no other club in the game has produced a Division winning set of SP's that way in more than a generation, is the real trip.

NatsNut; Guilty as charged, I am wierd, but I have no idea how you figured that out from that very un-weird, logical post of mine above. The Nats need SP talent in a big way, and they need front of the rotation guys (is Marquis really a front end guy?) who can project for MORE than 2 years. If Marquis is only part of the puzzle, which jiggering includes adding something a lot closer to an ACE, then great. But, on its own, the Nats have niether made the club relavent this year with this move nor added some long term piece.

The Nats have money to spend in a market where few teams do, it is well beyond time for them to start getting players of the caliber commensorate with their market, their amazing payroll flexibility and the fact that The Plan is now well into year 4. I recommend the Nats take some chances, take on some payroll, get some MLB impact players and do it now. If they set about getting out of the bottom third of payrolls, they could add Holliday, a No. 1 starter and a closer -- why are they not doing so? Maybe they are, we'll see, but recent and not so recent history says that is unlikely. I think it is weird that fans allow management to put a loser out on the field every year without holding them accountable.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 21, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Is Marquis going to be the #1 instead of Lannan? I think I'd prefer Lannan 1, Marquis 2. Either way I like the deal, Marquis is consistent (at least into August) and better than anything we have. It's a short deal at a reasonable price we will not regret. Still a few moves to go, but so far I like the direction Rizzo is taking for this team.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | December 21, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It could easily come to naught, but given the alternatives this is a gold plated christmas present because for all the blah blah about starting pitching this is the first time they actually signed a starter before Christnas..The wonders of low expectations. This is very encouraging with regards to Capps and a middle infielder or maybe I am a Christmas fool

Posted by: stpnat | December 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Is Marquis going to be the #1 instead of Lannan? I think I'd prefer Lannan 1, Marquis 2. Either way I like the deal, Marquis is consistent (at least into August) and better than anything we have. It's a short deal at a reasonable price we will not regret. Still a few moves to go, but so far I like the direction Rizzo is taking for this team.

Posted by: cheeseburger53

------------

I think that really depends on who else the Nats sign during the offseason. Call me a starry-eyed optimist, but I'm thinking that the Nats' Opening Day starter might still be on the free-agent list.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Mazel Tov!!

I can't wait until he has to decide whether or not to pitch for the Nationals in the playoffs on Yom Kippur.... A nice kind of problem to have....

Posted by: fischy | December 21, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

hehe, I thought the same thing when I read that.

---

"Marquis is a lifetime National League pitcher known for a strong sinker."

Maybe this will bring Barry back. ;)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 21, 2009 5:03 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Marquis is a veteran, but he's not a "top of the rotation" anything. Come on. This is the kind of move the team should make, but a team full of guys equal to Jason Marquis in value is a sub-.500 squad.

Posted by: sbiel2 | December 21, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Marquis will be a good signing for this club - He'll take the ball nearly every five days, and give the team a better chance at avoiding the bullpen until late than anyone else on the staff except Lannan.

It's another step in the right direction by Rizzo; Let's hope there is more to come this off-season.

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, there's top of the rotation for other teams and then there's top of the rotation for the Nats.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

For all those out there dumping on this signing, intstead of saying what a poor signing this is how about telling us who we should be signing. When there is no talent out there there is none to sign. You could have promised Lackey anything, no way was he coming here. Marquis moves us towards respectibility, something we need before any top line FAs locate to the beltway.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 21, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough, but tell THEM. *We* heard you the first time.
**************
I think it is weird that fans allow management to put a loser out on the field every year without holding them accountable.
Posted by: dfh21 | December 21, 2009 5:19 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 21, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Phil Wood on the MASN site says that a press conference is scheduled for 2:30 tomorrow. So, given how scheduling fell out with the Pudge presser, I guess I'll block out 4-4:30 p.m. on my calendar. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Marquis is a veteran, but he's not a "top of the rotation" anything. Come on. This is the kind of move the team should make, but a team full of guys equal to Jason Marquis in value is a sub-.500 squad.

Posted by: sbiel2

---------------------------

Does anyone think that the Nats are going to go over .500 next year?

A sub-.500 squad would be nice...if it's a much-improved-sub-.500 squad that shows promise and loses only 90 games.

Of course, worst-to-first is the dream, but how often does that happen? Is the team only a tweak away from that lofty pinnacle? I doubt it, but they sure do seem to be working toward it.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I am in 100% total agreement with dfh21's post!!!!!!!

U wanna make this organization better..then stock up on current talent..so future talent can take the time they need to develop!!!

Posted by: Lipty | December 21, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Mediocrity would be an improvement. Just saying...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

dfh, I'm totally with you that the Lerners should open up their wallet and get some good talent. I've been watching this sorry team for five years and I want a winner for a change. But the top flight starters (Lackey or Halliday, for example) just aren't going to come here no matter how much the Lerners offer them. You can't get a #1 starter on the open market when you've lost 100 games two years in a row. You just can't.

So you need to get serious about improving the team so that down the line a top flight FA won't laugh when you call. Marquis was at the top of the list of midlevel free agent starters who we could actually sign. Rizzo went after him and got him. That's a good thing, isn't it? Would you want him to sign a longer contract? I doubt it. As NatsNut said, who do you recommend that's better?

Posted by: Section222 | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Another veteran starter - NOT LIVO - would be grand to ease Lannan's burden as the "sage veteran" of the rotation. Would also give the younger and more unproven starters time to mature in AAA and AA without taking their lumps on the ML level. The Mets must need dramamine with the Nats having stolen Marquis from under their noses

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Apologies to SCNatsFan, I really hadn't read your post before drafting mine.

Posted by: Section222 | December 21, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Take that, Mets fans! hehe.

---

The Mets must need dramamine with the Nats having stolen Marquis from under their noses

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 5:44 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

mrizz and the nats brass shouldn't close up shop for the winter after signing marquis. there are a lot of other "secondary starters" still on the market like garland, davis, padilla, piniero, and sheets. JUST SAY NO to bringing back livo, the human batting practice pinata.

Posted by: surly_w | December 21, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I hope this means that a Garland signing is not far off so we can cross that second veteran pitcher off the list. A rotation of Lannan, Marquis, Garland, Stammen and Mock sounds good to me.

Posted by: markfd | December 21, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Scratch that forgot about Olsen....so Lannen Marquis, Garland, Olsen and Stammen.

Posted by: markfd | December 21, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A small bonus with Marquis - He seems to handle the bat pretty well for a pitcher (only 6 GIDP in 552PA lifetime, .518OPS).

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Digging through some old scorecards, I was at what was probably Marquis' best game as a starter - a two-hitter against the Nats at RFK on 27 Aug 2005. Marquis gave up singles to marlon Byrd and Christian Guzman, striking out three, walking none and facing only 29 batters. What is most notable about that game is is was the only start (and apperance) as a National by a LHP named Matt White.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

What's not to like about this signing? A 30-year old with no apparent history of health problems (now knocking on wood for having typed that), who's won 10+ games in each of the last six years and averages about 200 innings in the process. All for $15 million for two years?

Remember to be realistic here. The Nats are not trying to build a pennant-winning team this winter. They're trying to create a competitive team while they wait for the farm system to bear full fruit. In two years, the rotation could be Strasberg, J. Zimmermann, Lannan, Marquis and Take Your Pick. If you have faith in the farm system, that's not bad looking and in the meantime, the team isn't locked into any massive contracts that keep them from making other moves then.

I like this move.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 21, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Marquis falls apart in the second half every year. Once the All Star Break rolls by, his production drops considerably. I'd take Garland over Marquis, since he pitches the same all year long.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 21, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Time will tell. But it sounds like his arm went dead at the end of last season, and it was in that condition when the season ended. I hope he bounces back. He's got a lot of innings and he throws a lot of pitches, he's always dicking around off the plate. Overthrowing his fastball. Lot of pitches. I don't know. He's a .500 pitcher unless he finally gets it after 1,500 innings in the bigs>

Posted by: Brue | December 21, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

As previously note, I'm happy with the way that Rizzo is going about his business and getting 'er done. So, is this what it feels like to root for a big-boy team? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

And if Garland signed here some would want Marquis.

Section222, glad to see someone here is thinking like I am

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I meant "noted." Hey, at least my exclamation point works!!!! :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@Brue

Perhaps the second-half fatigue was caused by pitching at least half of games at Coors Field and he may have adversely been affected by the altitude? Previously Marquis had pitched in Atlanta, St. Louis and Chicago where altitude wasn't such a consideration. Most pitchers look better outside of Denver.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

what i most like about mrizz and the revamped FO is that they don't TALK about what they're doing, they ACT. and even if they don't act there's not a lotta false hype like with the carnival barker who previously had the job. mrizz kinda reminds me of the guy in seattle who's brought in new players without the hype.

Posted by: surly_w | December 21, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

This is good news.

I remember all too well when we were picking out pitchers off the reject/retread pile late every spring.

Is this great news? No, but I really like what Rizzo is doing. He was at the stadium today and doing what needs to be done while the rest of washington was taking a snow day.

Worst to first - not yet but no way we lose 100 this year.

Go Nats!

Posted by: alm1000 | December 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The NY Post is already upset that the Mets were aced on Marquis. Headline "Mets Miss the Marq."

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/metsblog/mets_miss_marquis_who_will_sign_5TtzdxU0eCdA9un8v8KPfL

The NY Daily News was somewhat more subdued.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2009/12/21/2009-12-21_marquis.html

Merry Christmas, Omar!

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

This could be a good week for us:

from mlbtraderumors.com:

"Nationals Among Leading Candidates For Capps
By Howard Megdal [December 21 at 5:21pm CST]
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick spoke with the agent for pitcher Matt Capps, who said the Washington Nationals, fresh off their signing of Jason Marquis, are a strong contender to land Capps' services.

Crasnick writes, "Agent Paul Kinzer said the Nationals weren't a factor when Capps began considering his options as a free agent. But Washington is now among the leading candidates to sign Capps because of the efforts of general manager Mike Rizzo."

The idea of Capps is a good one for the Nationals, whose record was much worse than the other talent on the field due to a ludicrously bad bullpen. With Capps' strikeout rate right around his career norms, it would be surprising not to see him post an ERA closer to his career mark of 3.61 than his 2009 mark of 5.80.

Of course, even a little improvement from Capps would help- the Nationals posted a bullpen ERA of 5.09 last season.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweets that "I spoke to Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett today. They want the Nationals to sign Matt Capps."

....

I'd love to see Capps here. Go get him, Rizzo!

Posted by: thepostischeap | December 21, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm still wondering if a trade with either the Braves or Reds is under discussion. With the Braves, either Lowe & $$ for 1-2 pitchers & an OF, or Vasquez for an OF & a low-level pitcher; With the Reds, maybe Harang for a pitcher & a mid-level prospect?

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Mets fans, what's left of them, don't like this one bit. A sampling from the NY Daily News

PHILLIES FAN
5:34:37 PM
Dec 21, 2009
The Nats just passed the Mets in the standing! So who do we look out for this season? The Fish, Braves? One thing we do know,It's not the Mets,Thank You Omar!

METFANIN FLA
5:56:31 PM
Dec 21, 2009
Even the Nats are more desirable than the Mets. Omar figures that trading for players will look better to the public than signing FAs. By trading, players have no choice but to play for the Mets. Sad.

GuiseppeFranco
5:57:56 PM
Dec 21, 2009
Marquis : 10 for 10 for being on playoff teams in his career. Pencil the 'Nats in the playoffs, 2010! Seriously, they come up w/ $36 mil. for Perez, but they can't find $15 mil., probably less since he wanted to pitch here, for this guy! Boggles the mind!....and if they passed on Marquis to bring Pedro back, I'll scream!!!!!

.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Yay!

Merry Christmas, movie house!

Merry Christmas, Emporium!

Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

Posted by: Drew8 | December 21, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

NY Post posters aren't too thrilled either about the Marquis de DC

• vicioucvic
12/21/2009 6:17 PM
Marquis is an innings eater and is a good MLB pitcher not great but respectable.

Is Omar's hands being tied by Jeff Wilpon? What is going on. Are they playing us like Obama is by offering Bay 65mm & waiting for someone else to bid higher & they have themselves covered by saying We weren't going to go 70MM.

I am not renewing my tickets at $225 per seat.

Blaze
12/21/2009 5:48 PM
The Mets stink!

ROTLMFAO!!!

NY2PA
12/21/2009 5:06 PM
This shows how pathetic of an organization the Wilpon's and Omar have let this team become. A free agent openly admits to wanting to play for the Mets, a team in need of pitching, and he signs with the basement dwellar in your division?!! And for 2 years, $15M?!! I do believe the Mets have a good core group to build around but Mets management is just letting it all go to nothing.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 21, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

More breaking news....

In an effort to appease JayBee, I mean dh21, the Nats have acquired both Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez from the Mariners. In return, the Nats send recently resigned Jesus Colome and two tubes of icy hot. More later...

Seriously, those who call for bigger and better--we all agree with you--the point is, who is out there that is realistically attainable? Baby steps, people, baby steps.
Marquis is an improvement over Daniel Cabrera, I think we could all agree to that.

Posted by: jfromPG | December 21, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand the Mets aren't still one good starter, a reliever, and a middle infielder from being a .500 team.

Sorry...

Posted by: soundbloke | December 21, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

in a totally unrelated matter, the Times will no longer publish a sunday edition. get those resumes ready mark and ben.

Posted by: surly_w | December 21, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I honestly believe that the young pitchers we have now will be pretty good in the years to come. The addition of I Rod will insure that we get some of the calls missing over the years. I'm not sure bringing Mcdougal back would be a good idea. The inconsistency of his pitching could prove cancerous to the young staff. I would trade Shaun Martis as well. His pitching style reminds me of former Orioles pitcher Jose Mercedes (a Dude!)

Posted by: specialg7master | December 21, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Every time a bell rings, a GM gets his wings.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait dh21 and Jaybee are the same person too now?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 21, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke, at least in spirit they are! Seriously, I don't know.

Posted by: jfromPG | December 21, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of names. What the hell ever happened to section 506? I miss that guy.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 21, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

As jPG said - baby steps, people.

While I still have concerns about the MI situation and the 8th-9th innings of the upcoming season, Rizzo & Co. seem to be taking steps in the right direction with proven players. This is a HUGE change from the previous GM's position of bluster, "tools", smoke & mirrors. I like just about everything I've seen so far from Rizzo (the Kensing callups were the only bad moves, IMO).

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

This is a great Xmas present.

I love the way that Rizzo is steadily going about business.

The Nats have been the most active trader in the past three weeks --- and I'm sure there's more on the horizon.

Looking forward to getting out of the cellar this year!

Posted by: nattydread1 | December 21, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

He still chimes in sometimes.

---

Speaking of names. What the hell ever happened to section 506? I miss that guy.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 21, 2009 7:33 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 21, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I'm down with this signing but with one concern: J-Marq is a ground ball pitcher, which makes upgrading the middle infield that much more important.

Posted by: TimDz | December 21, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

@soundb (& others): I highly doubt dfh21 & Jaybeee are one & the same. JayBeee may be angry 7/24/365, but at least he has the stones to stand behind his original moniker.

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Good move. He will do his job. Merry Xmas!

Posted by: tgerbracht | December 21, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Saw on ESPN that Capps' agent stated that if Capps decides he wants to be a closer instead of a set up man, its looking like it will be the Nats.

Posted by: jfromPG | December 21, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@TimDZ: You, me, and a lot of others on this board probably share the same concerns about the MI situation. Given the uncertaintity of the proposed shift of Guzman to 2B, that picture may not become clear until Spring Training.

I personally hope Guzman takes the move to heart & performs well, but I have my doubts. AGonz is a fair short-term replacement at 2B/SS, but isn't an everyday starter if the experiment fails.

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

This is me being lazy (as I could look it up, but there are too many astute individuals here who can respond), but what ever happened to Hudson at second base? Did he sign elsewhere? Are the Nats not interested? Is the O-Dog not interested?

Posted by: TimDz | December 21, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

O-dog is still out there, and he ranks #5 on Keith Law's list of available free agents. Hey, if he doesn't work out, Felipe Lopez is #6! What is Law smoking?

Posted by: thepostischeap | December 21, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Gentlemen,

Don't we need some infielders to go with another ground ball pitcher?

Posted by: paulkp | December 21, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

We really do need a strong MI now. Desmond and Guzman just don't cut it. Maybe a 2nd baseman fixes it, but something needs to be done.

Also I was joking about the dual moniker thing.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 21, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

TimDz, paulkp: Unless Rizzo has a trade in mind (LAA?), the Nationals are probably looking for a backup player at the MI slot. Just guessing here, but someone along the lines of Nick Green, Ramon Martinez, or Jerry Hairston Jr.; A bench player who could fill-in at either position.

The current mix of Guzman / AGonz / Desmond at either 2B or SS leaves me wanting a bit more defensively as well.

Posted by: BinM | December 21, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@BinM: My thought is that a ground ball pitcher is only as good as his infield. If J-Marq does his job and his infield lets him down, does that make him a bad pitcher or a pitcher with a bad infield behind him?

Posted by: TimDz | December 21, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Gentlemen,

Don't we need some infielders to go with another ground ball pitcher?

Posted by: paulkp | December 21, 2009 8:18 PM

-------------------

I wouldn't have said this a year ago, but in response to your post:

I'm guessing that the front office is taking that into consideration.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

With only 39 currently on the 40 man roster, no one has to be dropped for Marquis, but each man signed from here on will require a corresponding move. It will be interesting to see if it is one of the young - but under developed 5th starters like Estrada or an older pitcher like Slaten who gets DFA'd.

Or can they start putting players back on the 60 Day DL now that the Rule 5 draft is over? If so then the obvious move is J. Zimmermann to the DL.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 21, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

new post...

Posted by: thepostischeap | December 21, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I know this is old "stuff" but I would like to know what austin kearns is doing or where he will go , etc. ???

Posted by: bsballu5 | December 21, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

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