Marquis in pinstripes would be great news for AL rivals

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It’s a lesson all of the AL contenders have learned in recent years: a team must be very, very careful when looking to NL pitchers to bolster their staffs.
Jason Marquis is exactly the kind of pitcher who needs to be left in the easier league. He’s an accomplished innings eater, but he hasn’t finished with an ERA under 4.00 since 2004. His career WHIP in 10 seasons is 1.42. He fans barely five batters per nine innings and that’s with some assistance from getting to face a pitcher twice a game.
Marquis did start getting more grounders during his surprisingly successful year in Colorado, but prior to that, he was never the true sinkerballer he was traditionally billed as. He’s surrendered as many as 35 homers in a season, and he’s always walked too many batters.
All those factors made it quite a surprise when the news leaked Monday that the Yankees have talked Marquis over with his agents. There’s nothing to suggest serious negotiations have taken place, but it appears they are considering Marquis for one of their rotation vacancies.
The Red Sox and Rays would likely be glad to see it. Marquis would have a difficult time keeping his ERA under 5.00 while pitching in the AL East. He probably wouldn’t fall apart physically like Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright did, but there’s reason to think the Yankees could get the same results from Ian Kennedy as they could from plugging Marquis into their rotation.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.