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?
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.