Dec 7, 2009, 6:25 PM EDT
It’s a lesson all of the AL contenders have learned in recent years: a team must be very, very careful when looking to NL pitchers to bolster their staffs.
Jason Marquis is exactly the kind of pitcher who needs to be left in the easier league. He’s an accomplished innings eater, but he hasn’t finished with an ERA under 4.00 since 2004. His career WHIP in 10 seasons is 1.42. He fans barely five batters per nine innings and that’s with some assistance from getting to face a pitcher twice a game.
Marquis did start getting more grounders during his surprisingly successful year in Colorado, but prior to that, he was never the true sinkerballer he was traditionally billed as. He’s surrendered as many as 35 homers in a season, and he’s always walked too many batters.
All those factors made it quite a surprise when the news leaked Monday that the Yankees have talked Marquis over with his agents. There’s nothing to suggest serious negotiations have taken place, but it appears they are considering Marquis for one of their rotation vacancies.
The Red Sox and Rays would likely be glad to see it. Marquis would have a difficult time keeping his ERA under 5.00 while pitching in the AL East. He probably wouldn’t fall apart physically like Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright did, but there’s reason to think the Yankees could get the same results from Ian Kennedy as they could from plugging Marquis into their rotation.
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