Jul
20

Scouting The Trade Market: Jason Marquis

By

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Allison via Creative Commons license)

As the rumors about Ubaldo Jimenez swirl, you can bet the Yankees are covering all their bases by looking for pitching elsewhere at the same time. One pitcher Jerry Crasnick says is available is Jason Marquis of the Nationals, which makes sense. Washington is out of it and he’s not a part of their long-term future, so they might as well cash in the chip before he leaves as a free agent. The Staten Island native has been pretty vocal about wanting to pitch near home at some point in his career, so is it worth it for the Yankees to make his wish come true? Let’s explore…

The Pros

  • Marquis is very quietly enjoying the best season of his career. His 5.42 K/9 is his best strikeout rate since 2004, and his 2.75 BB/9 is his best walk rate ever. A 53.7% ground ball rate is right in line with his last two years as well as his peak years from 2003-2005.
  • He’s a true three-pitch pitcher, getting ground balls with his high-80′s sinker (that will occasionally run as high as 93) and mid-80′s slider. He’ll also use a low-80′s changeup and yeah, every so often he’ll bust out a straight four-seam fastball. That’s just a show-me pitch though, a 3-0 auto-strike offering or something. The sinker-slider-changeup combo is how he makes his living, and because of that repertoire he has a negligible platoon split both this year and for his career.
  • Marquis has pitched in large markets like St. Louis and Chicago before, which is always a plus. He’s also pitched in the playoffs several times, including with the Cardinals during their 2004 NL pennant run.
  • The final year of his contract will pay him about $1.25M a month from here on out ($7.5M total salary), which is pretty cheap.

The Cons

  • After throwing fewer than 190 IP just once from 2004-2009, Marquis was limited to just 13 starts and 58.2 IP last season because of bone chips in his throwing elbow. He had surgery and was out from late-April until early-August. He’s been healthy since and hasn’t missed a start this year.
  • Marquis has little margin for error because he can’t miss bats when he needs to. He’s a classic pitch-to-contact guy, getting a swing and miss just 7.0% of the time this year, essentially identical to his 6.8% career mark. Those kinds of guys are tough to count on against good lineups.
  • He’s a career National League pitcher and has performed pretty poorly during interleague play, a 5.50 ERA and ~4.89 FIP in 168.2 IP over the course of his career.
  • He does not project as either a Type-A or B free agent and is pretty far from off from the cut-off, so no draft pick(s) if he leaves as a free agent. Marquis has already started talking about a multi-year contract extension, but whatever team employs him is under no obligation to give it to him.

For what it’s worth, Larry Rothschild was Marquis’ pitching coach when he was with the Cubs in 2007 and 2008, so there’s already a bit of a relationship and familiarity there. Let’s not kid ourselves here, Marquis is no savior. He’s a decent fourth or fifth starter option at best, something the Yankees already have plenty of. If they could get him for dirt cheap, say a Grade-C prospect and take on the salary, there’s no harm in it just to have him around as depth. The Yankees need to focus on getting a high-end starter though, guys like Marquis are filler. Not useless, but not a difference maker.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • jay destro

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

  • Spencer

    Oh please God no.

  • http://bww.com Adam

    Freddy Garcia. Only not as good.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Meh, he’s probably just as good as Garcia, but he’s not free (and we already have one), so no.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        Yeah exactly.

  • Nick

    This was your mystery pitcher!?!??!?!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I never said anything about a mystery pitcher … or did I?

      • CC’s third leg

        Mystery pitcher is andy pettitte, amirite??

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          Sidd. Finch.

        • vin

          I thought we discussed this in the Logan thread… Nick Swisher.

      • Nick

        I’m pretty sure you did last thursday or friday….or are you just being facetious? haha

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I might have said that, but I honestly don’t remember. If I did, I can promise you it wasn’t Marquis.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Wasn’t that Joe?

          • Nick

            If it was Joe, I apologize. But seeing Marquis’ name made my mind go numb.

          • CP

            Joe’s mystery pitcher was last year (or the off season).

            • Ted Nelson

              I believe there was a reference to a mystery pitcher recently.

    • Kevin G.

      Melvin Croussett

      • Rick in Boston

        After every blowout loss, RAB should just link to Mike’s prospect profile of Melvin. If that article doesn’t make you smile, you might not be human.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    I threw up a little, please lord no.

  • CC’s third leg

    No thanks

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    didn’t get past the picture….no..no way, dear god no.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    If they could get him for dirt cheap, say a Grade-C prospect and take on the salary, there’s no harm in it just to have him around as depth.

    Shaffer Hall? Josh Schmidt? DeAngelo Mack? Brad Suttle?

    Sure.

    • Reggie C.

      Would you do the trade if the natinals requested Z.Almonte in return? I doubt Marquis would be given up for straight org filler.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Meh, Zolio’s only 22 and he’s never really had a horrible season anywhere yet… he might be a C+. Since I don’t know where Marquis fits (see below), I might say no to that.

  • CMP

    He’s no better than AJ or Garcia and in fact might now even be as good as those 2 so I’d pass.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    “The Yankees need to focus on getting a high end starter though, guys like Marquis are filler. Not useless, but not a difference maker.”

    Well that settles it doesn’t it? These are the kind of guys Cashman was looking for before the season just to coast the Yankees along. But now they need a legitimate #2 starter. Marquis is not our guy.

    • hornblower

      The Yanks don’t need a high end starter. They need a bat. The DH spot is a wasteland and name players like Jeter and Posada are really on the downside. Swisher can only hit from the right side and tough lefties give Grandy trouble. Tex is struggling from the left side. The shift on the infield really hurts his effectiveness.
      At the moment this is not an American League lineup. The good pitching has obscured that fact.

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

        “They need a bat.”

        Eric Chavez and Alex Rodriguez to the rescue!

    • Ted Nelson

      “But now they need a legitimate #2 starter. Marquis is not our guy.”

      Now they want a legit #2… but there may only be one or two or so of those types actually available (Kuroda, Dempster, …). If the Yankees cannot trade for one of those guys are a palatable price, adding a Marquis-type on the cheap for depth may make some sense if they’ve got enough places to store people short-term (which they may not). Not all that likely, but a possibility.

      • CMP

        Disagree. The Yankees have plenty back end starters in AJ, Garcia, Nova, Noesi and Warren. Marquis is the AL east is no better than any of them.

  • Reggie C.

    When i saw the photo I thought JORDAN Zimmerman. Zimm is the only starter in that Strasburg-less rotation that could interest Cashman. Would rather give the ball to Nova instead of Marquis.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Dude, Chien-Ming Wang will be back this weekend. Proven AL East ace!

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

        You know he’s just going to screw up his right foot hustling out a double again.

      • Reggie C.

        Heh. I’m not sure Cmw is topping 88 with that winked of his.

      • Preston

        I wouldn’t trade anything for CMW but this off-season I’d give him a deal and send the Nats a thankyou card for rehabbing him for us.

    • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      I dunno, I’ve always been a John Lannan guy. rafty left, young…solid back end guy. Not sure why the Nats would trade him though.

  • EndlessMikeJr

    How about Chien-Ming Wang?

    Oh sorry I thought this was the pick any horrible pitcher to trade for thread.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Nope. He’ll end up being what we thought Freddy Garcia would be.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    The problem with the Yankees isn’t a lack of depth, it’s a lack of good pitching after Sabathia. Most contending teams have the ace and then the solid number two. The Angels have Weaver, then Haren; The Rangers have Wilson, then Holland; the White Sox have that muddle of number 2-3 guys. On the Yankees it’s Sabathia and… basically four number four starters. Considering that we have a bunch of those, no, there is no reason to have this guy. A number two or another ace is what’s necessary.

    • CMP

      Hughes and Colon have the ability to fill the 2/3 slots but neither is close to a sure thing for various reasons.

      Everything would have to break just right for the Yankees to have enough quality starting pitching to confidently go into the postseason as presently constituted.

      • David, Jr.

        Precisely. After Sabathia there will be very dicey matchups against top contenders. This is apparently controversial here, but if you asked ten GM’s at least nine would tell you that.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          It’s not controversial here.

          What was controversial was your boversimplification of the issue, starting with the fact that Sabathia is not “facing” the other team’s top starter, both he and the other teams top starter are facing their opponents’ respective offenses.

          • Jim S

            It’s easier to just blindly believe your first instinct and call everyone else idiots, rather than to adjust your own beliefs when presented with a coherent counter-argument.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I don’t think David called anyone an idiot, but yeah.

              • Jim S

                Exaggerated for emphasis, but I inferred from his tone some negative feelings towards the authority here.

                Should have just cut the first clause after instinct, and it applies much better.

          • David, Jr.

            It is just one factor. They could go with exactly what they have, and if AJ Burnett pitched three playoff games where he went at least 7 innings and gave up no more than two runs, and half the team hit blazingly hot, and Gardner made six ESPN highlight catches, they could win.

            It is just something that is particularly pertinent leading up to this deadline, for a variety of reasons.

            I’m betting that they do something quite major. We will know soon.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      “The Rangers have Wilson, then Holland Ogando and Harrison.”

      Fixed.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        derrr, that’s what I meant. Holland’s pitching today, that’s why I put him there.

    • CP

      And the Red Sox have Beckett and then Lackey (and then Miller, Wakefield and Weiland).

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    You left out what might be an important con for Marquis (and many of the pitchers like him):

    He hasn’t pitched out of the bullpen since 2003. 223 of his last 226 appearances have been as a starter.

    Unless we’re acquiring an Ubaldo Jimenez (i.e. someone heads and shoulders better than one of our incumbent starters), any fringy back-end guy we’re looking at for depth needs to be fungible enough to sit and wait in the bullpen (or Scranton) until we actually need them.

    Marquis obviously isn’t displacing CC, AJ, or Colon; Hughes needs to be in the rotation as well to build towards October; Marquis isn’t demonstrably better than Garcia and Freddy has earned the deference.

    I don’t know if we’re putting Marquis in the bullpen until one of Colon/Garcia/Hughes regresses or implodes. I doubt it.

    • CMP

      I agree.

      If you’re gonna get a starter, I think he at least has to pass the “is he better than AJ and Garcia” test.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        No, he only has to pass the “Is he better than AJ and Garcia” test.

        A.J. Burnett will be a member of the New York Yankees starting rotation until October, 2013. Derek Jeter will be a member of the New York Yankees starting lineup until 2013.

        Learn to live with it, people. Find a coping mechanism.

        • dkidd

          i have 3:

          booze
          pot
          reality television

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I suggest “fucking”. Works like a charm.

            • dkidd

              my son = epic cock blocker

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                That sounds like an odd name to have given your son. I would suggest changing it.

                • dkidd

                  never. i love my little ecb

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    BTW, do you have this book? If not, go get it immediately, it’s awesome.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          “Derek Jeter will be a member of the New York Yankees starting lineup until 2013.”

          That’s only if he doesn’t pick up his option for 2014.

          /nitpick’d

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            “Derek Jeter will be a member of the New York Yankees starting lineup until 2014″

            • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

              fun, fun, fun, fun

        • CP

          A.J. Burnett will be a member of the New York Yankees starting rotation until October, 2013. Derek Jeter will be a member of the New York Yankees starting lineup until 2013.

          This is true, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be considered when acquiring a new pitcher. Specifically for the rest of the season, the Yankees don’t need someone that would slot in below AJ and/or Garcia (they have guys that could fill that role). At a minimum, the starter would need to be better than those two so they slot in right behind CC and Colon.

        • CMP

          I agree AJ isn’t going anywhere with that contract. If Girardi has 3-4 better starting options for the playoffs however, I don’t think he’d hesitate to make AJ the 4th starter or swingman out of the pen. He did give AJ only 1 start last postseason if I remember correctly.

  • IRF

    Low K rate, average-ish walk rate, and lots of grounders sounds just like Ivan Nova

  • duzzi23

    I’m sorry you lost me at Jason Marquis. That would be a terrible pickup

  • dkidd

    just imagine what sterling would do with this

    “and marquis has struck out de side (pronounced sahd)!!!”

    • 7commerce

      That’s good!

  • Gonzo

    So this post is secretly about him being a DH pickup?

  • Frank

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA hilarious post.

    I’d rather see Kei Igawa

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      (thinks)

      No, you wouldn’t.

  • duzzi23

    Id rather have Charlie Sheen pitch before Kei Igawa

  • j Nitai

    The Yanks Have a #1 and 4 #4-5 Startig pitchers. The bottom line stats are wins and losses. Hughes is a potential #2-3, but until he can show it he is only a #4-5; Nova is a Potential #3-4, his era has gotten better each month this season and more importantly the yanks win when he is on the mound learning to pitch; Burnett is a #4-5,and from may to the present he is 3-7 W/L, a #5. Burnett’s era has gotten progressively worse each month this season and he mostly pitches the Yanks into a deficit position, 2-3 runs behind. Colon is a #4 with potential to be a #3-5. Garcia is a #5. The Yanks should ultimately Make Burnett a closer in the mold of Eckersly, who was also initially a starter. maybe then Burnett would want to bear down and not save himself and his arm for the long run, ala “wildthing”.

    • CP

      Colon has been a #2 so far this year. He is 17th in the AL in ERA and 21st in FIP.

      You could argue that he’ll fall apart in the second half, but there’s really no way he could be considered a #4 starter right now.

      • CP

        I should clarify… those rankings are among pitchers with at least 90 IP.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Damnit, CP, that FIP mumbo-jumbo doesn’t matter.

          The bottom line stats are wins and losses.

      • Jim S

        Shhhhh, your facts are getting in the way of their narratives.

    • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

      Burnett =/= relief pitcher.

  • Joey H

    The only thing he provides over the 4th 5th guys we already have is that he can be healthier with less statistical guarantees. CAN be. Not what this team needs, so pass. In a perfect world we want to find someone that we are confidence can blow it by the Red Sox and Rangers. Marquis, isn’t that.

  • MikeD

    If the Yankees acquire another starter, then the starter needs to be better than what they already have; otherwise, they haven’t gained anything, but will also have lost a prospect. Is Marquis better than Colon or Garcia or Hughes or Nova? No. Pass.

    • Mike HC

      Yea, definitely no point in trading anything for Marquis. I think not only should the guy be an upgrade for this season, but also someone that is going to be around for at least the next couple of years. This year, it seems like the Colon and Garcia band aids are going to work out, but that only puts off the very glaring hole of a sure thing long term starting pitcher other than CC.

  • Bronx Byte

    With the exception of Ubaldo Jimenez it’s a weak year to deal for starting pitching at the 7/31 trading deadline. Rather than pay a king’s ransom for Jimenez, the Yankees are better off to stay with the pitching they have and go after a bat that can jump start the sluggish offense.

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      The Yankees need a legitimate #2 starter if they want to make a deep playoff run. Maybe not Jimenez but Cashman should definitely get a Edwin Jackson or John Danks type. And this team does not need to go out and trade for a bat. That’s what A-Rod and Eric Chavez are for when they get back.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Danks will likely be priced similar to Ubaldo.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          Replace Danks with Kuroda then.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Better, but it remains to be seen what type of compensation Kuroda would want in exchange for waiving his NTC.

            • MannyGeee

              Kuroda is going to get ALOTTTTTT of attention this deadline. he is the textbook trade deadline pickup… cheap, proven, no commitment past this year. his price is gonna go up astronomically if he goes officially on the block.

          • Jim S

            Kuroda: Not a legitimate #2, but definitely an upgrade to our rotation.

            • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

              Wandy, and Anibal Sanchez are other names that have been thrown into the mix. But neither will be cheap.

              • MannyGeee

                Sanchez please. not cheap trade wise, but he will be better longer than anyone mentioned this year (non-Ubaldo Division)

                • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

                  This.

                  Sanchez is younger and has pitched much better in a stronger division. But he’ll also be that much more expensive.

      • Mike HC

        I’m an advocate of getting Danks, but the Sox might ask for not that much less than the Rockies asked for.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          Ubaldo has been better than Danks over about the same period of time (not by a considerable margin), but yeah.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Yeah, Ubaldo is a better option than Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but all three clubs are pricing them all like aces.

            • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

              If Cashman is going to trade Jesus and either Dellin or ManBan for any of them though, It had better be Ubaldo.

      • Jim S

        I’m not sold on Edwin being a #2. #3, maybe. 101 ERA+. Arguably a little unlucky, but I dunno. He’d probably be cheaper than Ubaldo but I don’t think Edwin Jackson is the key to our WS hopes and dreams.

        Colon’s been better anyway, so whatever your definition of #2/#3 may be, he’d be #3 on this staff.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          The reason I’m keen on Jackson is he won’t cost as much as many of the alternatives, but if we add him we’d have four pitchers who are #4s at worst who are all capable of pitching like #2s (Burnett, Hughes, Colon, Jackson). That inventory (plus Garcia and Nova) behind CC is probably good enough that by October, we’ll have at least three hot pitchers performing like frontline starters backed by another four servicable options to pitch a Game 4.

          It’s the best way to approximate a second ace without paying the trade cost to get one: Have four guys who could be #2s.

          • Will

            ^This. Jackson would be a great pickup.

            • FIPster Doofus

              Meh.

    • Jim S

      3rd best offense in the majors. Another bat can’t hurt at the right price, but yeah, our offense is not in need of jump-starting.

  • cranky

    In the AL East, Marquis would be meat.

  • http://www.repairmycomputer.com Marc

    What about Hiroki Kuroda? Dodgers are shopping him. He could be an interesting option.

  • roy

    What about Jason Vargas? Mariners are shopping him. The lefty could be an interesting option.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s a soft-tossing lefty who gives up a ton of fly balls – a poor fit for Yankee Stadium.

  • MannyGeee

    Marquis is just another meh pitcher. You would have had my attention in April when we did not know what the club had in Garcia and Colon, but I am not confident that Marquis outpitches either of them.

    counterpoint, that GB% is dead sexy. if we didnt have a defensive black hole between Cano and A-Rod (well, Cano and the visitors dugout for the next 1.5 months, I’m supposin), I might be more intrigued…