Nationals sign Jason Marquis to two-year deal

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Washington recently was said to be making a “strong push” for Jon Garland, but the Nationals apparently balked at his demand for a three-year contract and turned their attention to the equally veteran and similarly mediocre Jason Marquis, signing him to a reported two-year, $15 million contract.
Marquis won 15 games and tossed 216 innings for Colorado last season, posting a solid 4.04 ERA despite calling Coors Field home. However, he had ERAs of 4.60 and 4.53 in two seasons with the Cubs prior to joining the Rockies and was disastrous for the Cardinals in 2006, posting a 6.02 ERA while leading the league in losses, homers allowed, and runs allowed.
He’s a veteran of a decade in the majors with a 4.48 career ERA, and last season’s 115/80 K/BB ratio suggests that he was quite fortunate to post a 4.04 mark in Colorado. Marquis certainly isn’t without value and can be penciled in for 180-200 innings of league-average pitching, but I’m not really sure why a team coming off back-to-back 100-loss campaigns should be paying $7.5 million per season for a 31-year-old fourth starter.
Of course, I also failed to grasp why the Nationals needed to spend $6 million on a backup catcher, albeit one headed to the Hall of Fame. General manager Mike Rizzo has seemingly made paying premium prices for veteran mediocrity a priority this offseason, which is an odd use of resources and playing time for a team that isn’t anywhere close to contending. Ninety-five losses or bust!

Cubs plan to activate Quintana for start against Pirates

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH — Jose Quintana is back in time to help the Chicago Cubs’ playoff push.

The NL Central-leading Cubs plan to activate the left-hander on Tuesday and start him against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Injuries have dogged Quintana for much of the season. He’s appeared in just two games, both out of the bullpen, thanks to issues with his left thumb and a lat problem.

Quintana recently completed a 35-pitch session off the mound and Cubs manager David Ross said he plans to give Quintana “a little bit of a leash” in his first start since last Sept. 26.

There’s a chance Quintana could get another opportunity to pitch when the Cubs wrap up the regular season with a three-game series at the rival Chicago White Sox this weekend.

The 31-year-old Quintana is 83-77 with a 3.73 ERA, including a 33-23 record with a 4.26 ERA since being traded from the White Sox to the Cubs in July 2017.