December 10, 2006

Cubs Sign Marquis

The Cubs must see that it would be virtually impossible for them to be as bad as the Pirates, so instead, they're trying to be not-quite-as-bad but for a whole lot more money.

At least, that's the only reason I can see for them signing Jason Marquis to a 3-year, $20 million contract (via GROTA):

The Cubs filled out their rotation on Friday night by signing free-agent Jason Marquis to a three-year deal worth approximately $20 million, sources said.

The signing, which was first reported by the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, ends the Cubs search for two starters, following the four-year, $40 million deal for Ted Lilly on Wednesday.

Marquis, 28, went 14-16 for St. Louis in '06 with a 6.02 earned-run average in 2006. he was 3-10 with a 6.72 ERA after the All-Star break, costing him a rotation spot in the postseason.

The Cubs believe pitching coach Larry Rothchild can fine-tune Marquis and make him a more consistent pitcher. His best season came in 2004, when Marquis went 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA. His career record with Atlanta and St. Louis is 56-52 with a 4.55 ERA.

I don't usually quote an entire story, but every word of this is golden (plus, it's really short). So the Cubs believe that Rothchild can succeed where Duncan could not? Marquis wasn't even on the Cards' post-season roster, and the Cubs are giving him $7 million a year? His best season was in 2004, and they're signing him to a three-year deal?

Maybe they're hoping he can spell Soriano in center. I remember him being a pretty good hitter.

17 comments to “Cubs Sign Marquis”

  1. smartelf says:

    If it hasn’t become obvious to everyone by now, train your kids to be pitchers. The amount of money “they” (and by that I mean every team in the league including the Reds) give to these guys based on hopes and best wishes rather than actual reality is enough to turn the stomach even the most die-hard fan. Seriously, you think about the outrageous concession prices ($6.00 per beer, $5.00 for a dog that costs like 40 cents to make at home) and you quickly realize it is because of these shmucks with a 6+ ERA and their ruthless agents and big market teams willing to pinch out the little guy. Its really disgusting … and I am going to have to do some soul searching to decide if I can really rationalize investing so much of my personal energy into such a ridiculous business, when I am only giving and not getting much back in return. What do I tell my son, when I take him to a game? That guy who just gave up 5 home runs and lost the game for us is worth the same as 5 doctors and 3 physiciscs combined… so throw away your school books and throw a ball against the brick wall for the next 10 years. And if your arm falls off before then and you don’t catch a break, well, I am sorry about that son, but hopefully I won’t be around to have to pick up the pieces of your broken life.

  2. smartelf says:

    I should add that I think the Reds are less obnoxious in this regard than most teams, especially the Cubs and Yankees… but the Milton contract was what I had in mind when I included them in my diatribe. Most of the contracts on the Reds are reasonable, when compared to the market rate. I don’t know who would be proud to be a Cubs fan after these insane signings. Its truly embarrassing.

  3. BubbaFan says:

    I think every Little Leaguer wants to be a pitcher. Seems like most of the position players are guys who started out as pitchers and got moved. The Reds’ newest project, Josh Hamilton, was drafted as a pitcher. Bubba started out as a pitcher, too. He was the ace who pitched his high school team to a state championship…using a curveball taught to him by Chuck Knoblauch’s dad.

    I do wonder how long salaries can continue like this. Baseball players get paid a lot more than football players, even though MLB brings in a lot less money than the NFL.

    Then there’s the push for “a la carte” cable pricing. Christian conservatives don’t want to pay for programming they consider smutty. Leftwingers don’t want to pay for Fox News. But sports fans would suffer the most if a la carte pricing became available. Sports is the most expensive item on the menu. Something like 18% of viewers watch ESPN, but they all pay for it. Would sports fans be willing to pay five times as much, if those who don’t like sports are allowed to opt out?

  4. smartelf says:

    Incidentally I was totally kidding about not wanting to be around to repair my son should his heart get broken in pursuit of whatever dream he seeks. I would never press him into any business/trade unless he expressed his own desires and showed inclination and talent. Sports is really like a game of survivor, in which a lot of hearts get broken so a blessed few can make more money than anyone truly deserves… yea, Clemens is great I don’t doubt that, but 15M for half a season at his age? Come on! And yea I know he brings in revenue with his hall-of-fame credentials but I don’t believe any one man, especially post peak and for half a season is worth that kind of money… but that is less mind boggling than some punk like marquis who hasn’t paid his dues or proved much of anything, to make 7M per season… that is disgraceful and I don’t know what kind of message that sends to kids other than “life isn’t fair.”

  5. Joel says:

    I don’t blame the players or their agents for all of this money being spent this off-season. This one is totally on the owners and GMs. The money that the Cubs have spent this off-season is ludicrous. Thankfully it’s the Cubs and they’ll still probably suck anyway.

  6. Elle says:

    Wow. All year long I’ve been wishing the Cubs would pick up Marquis even though it seems a little like wishing leprosy on someone. Never in my wildest dreams did I actually think my wish would come true! 😉

  7. BubbaFan says:

    Uh-oh. It’s probably not a good sign, when Cards fans show up to gloat over this trade. [img][/img]

  8. Elle says:

    But hey, Reds fans will get to enjoy Marquis too! We’re all winners in this deal.

    Marquis is maddeningly inconsistent. He’s like a box of [possibly poisoned] chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. Who knows which Jason comes to pitch from game to game, inning to inning? Your guess is as good as anyone’s, including Dave Duncan and Leo Mazzone.

    If he would just dominate or suck to his full potential, it would probably be better for everyone. But no, he has to be good for a couple batters/innings, maybe even brilliant for a game before the suck sets in again. Based on his performance with the Cards and Braves, it is fitting that he is a Cub.

    That said, there’s a chance that he will rebound and gain control of himself. I think that’s something like my chances of winning the lottery, in which case Cub fans will have won the lottery because they’ve picked up a pitcher that no man can injure.

  9. Red Hot Mama says:

    Elle! You show a remarkable lack of confidence in the Cubs to injure their starters!

  10. BubbaFan says:

    Maybe they’re hoping he’ll be another Jeff Weaver. 😛

    The [url=]McPaper[/url] has updated the “Inside Pitch” team notes. Nothing we haven’t heard before:

    [quote]-LHP Scott Schoeneweis, a relief pitcher the club would like to re-sign to use as its closer, refused salary arbitration, but the team can still sign him if he doesn’t sign with another team.

    —OF Chris Denorfia, who hit .345 in September as a replacement for injured CF Ken Griffey Jr., has stiff competition for a fourth outfield spot (Norris Hopper, Bubba Crosby, Josh Hamilton). Denorfia could be trade bait to attract pitching, and the Marlins have expressed interest.

    —OF/INF Ryan Freel hasn’t been anointed the team’s starting right fielder, although the club needs one, but manager Jerry Narron prefers Freel’s versatility and ability to play all three outfield spots, plus second base and third base. “And while I like to see him in the lineup somewhere most of the time, we worry about him wearing down if we play him in long stretches without days off,” Narron said.[/quote]

    They don’t seem too impressed with the Hamilton acquisition. ([url=]Mark Sheldon[/url] isn’t, either. He thinks Hamilton will be returned to sender.)

  11. HoosierVirg says:

    Not sure what is going on with the Weathers thing, we made room for him by taking Claussen off the roster, hope we don’t lose him.

  12. smartelf says:

    Claussen is still rehabbing… they are just juggling the roster so they don’t lose anyone.

  13. smartelf says:

    I am assuming Claussen still has options, and plus if he is rehabbing that doesn’t count as a DFA does it?

  14. BubbaFan says:

    Looks like Claussen has one option year left.

    And they could clear a space on the roster by putting him on the 60-day DL. That’s what the Yankees did with Carl Pavano. Who the Cards are rumored to be interested in.

    And the Pirates are supposedly in hot pursuit of Suppan…

  15. BubbaFan says:

    Hmm. I just read the article about Weathers on It says Claussen was DFA’d.

    I guess they wanted him off the roster. He’ll probably clear waivers and end up in the minors.

  16. Redsfan68 says:

    They should DFA Krivsky… He’s an idiot

  17. Zeldink says:

    Personally, I would have DFA’d Moeller.

    But that’s me, finding less value in no-hit, questionable-defense catchers than young lefthanded pitchers who’ve had flashes of success in limited chances.

    I know, where are my priorities?