Minnesota has filled the final spot in its rotation with Jason Marquis, signing the veteran right-hander to a one-year deal worth $3 million.
By replacing Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel with Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit the Twins saved a ton of money for 2012 and beyond, but they also sliced their payroll from $115 million to a projected $100 million.
That and dumping Kevin Slowey on the Rockies left them shopping in the bargain bin for rotation help and Marquis is more or less what you get for $3 million, although it’s worth noting that Slowey will make just $2.7 million in Colorado.
Marquis can’t really be called an innings-eater because he’s missed so much time with injuries over the past few seasons, but he’s had an ERA between 4.00 and 4.60 in four of the past five years and fits the Twins’ pitch-to-contact mold as a ground-ball guy with meager strikeout rates.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.