Jason Marquis was injured and terrible last season, going 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA in 13 starts, but now that he’s healthy and pitching well the 32-year-old impending free agent told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he wants to remain with the Nationals beyond this season.
Oh, and he’d like a multi-year contract:
Anybody would want a multi-year deal. That’s how the game works. I don’t think anyone would turn down a four for a one. I would love to stay here. I think we have a good thing going here. There are so many good guys, it would be a shame to not be a part of it. It has to be mutual on both sides. Whether it’s now or at the end of the season, we’ll figure something out.
Marquis is about two-thirds of the way through a two-year, $15 million deal and the Nationals have gotten 140 innings of a 4.90 ERA for that money, and even his current 3.67 ERA in 13 starts comes with a mediocre 47/23 K/BB ratio in 81 innings that suggests it’ll be tough to sustain. After giving the Nationals zero value for their $7.5 million last year and so-so value at best for their $15 million overall, what are the odds he’s willing to take a pay cut to stick around?
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.