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.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.