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?
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.