Mets passed on Jason Marquis pretty early

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Jason Marquis, 31, turned in an impressive 15-13 record, 4.04 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last season in 33 starts for the Rockies and set out in search of a lucrative free agent contract this winter.  He made it known early on — in mid-November, in fact — that he wanted to play for the Mets, a team he grew up rooting for as a native of Long Island, New York.

“There’s definitely interest there,” Marquis said of the Mets five months ago. “We’ll see what direction they want to go.”

The Mets made some initial contact with Marquis, but never pursued an actual deal.  The right-hander explained the situation Saturday while donning a Nationals uniform in Viera, Florida.

“I wanted to come home to New York to play in front of family and
friends — you’ve got people on your side,” he said. “Washington showed
aggressiveness. They wanted me. … I wasn’t expecting anything [from the Mets], [But] it was very
disappointing when we didn’t hear back from them.”

Perhaps Mets general manager Omar Minaya made the right move by holding off on Marquis.  After all, he had an ugly 4.57 ERA and allowed 97 hits in 92 2/3 innings after the All-Star break last season and was left out of Colorado’s postseason rotation.  Still, isn’t it odd that Minaya and Co. cut off contact so quickly?  It’s not like the club is rolling out a bunch of sure-fire aces this year.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
AP Images
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.