Posted on 08 January 2009 by Lou
The Cubs made it official the other day – completing a trade with the Colorado Rockies that sent Jason Marquis to Coors Field in exchange for veteran reliever Luis Vizcaino. The move was done primarily to free up salary room to sign left-handed hitting outfielder Milton Bradley – who is expected to sign a 3-year, $30 million deal later this week.
Marquis won 23 games during his 2 MLB seasons with the Cubs, but his high ERA – 4.57 – ended up making the move inevitable. The Cubs will pay $875,000 of the $9,875,000 owed to Marquis during the 2009 MLB season.
On the flip side, the Cubs only have to pay Vizcaino $4 million for the 2009 season, creating a savings of approximately $5 million for the Cubs. Vizcaino made 43 relief appearances for the Rockies in 2008. He was 1-2 with a dismal 5.28 ERA. In 10 MLB seasons, Vizcaino has a career 4.34 ERA. Cubs scouts have indicated that Vizcaino still has legitimate major league velocity left on his fastball, and if he can avoid injuries, he will likely get ample work in the 6th and 7th innings for the Cubs in 2009.
With the trade of Marquis, the Cubs now had a void to fill for the 5th spot in the starting rotation. Sean Marshall is probably the front-runner to land the spot (he started 24 games in 2006, 19 games in 2007 and 7 games in 2008). Angel Guzman, Kevin Hart and Chad Gaudin could also be possible replacements. Jeff Samardzija pitched so well in the bullpen during the 2008 MLB season that he will likely be considered for the set-up role in front of Carlos Marmol, instead of for a spot in the starting rotation.
Posted on 03 January 2009 by Lou
Still no word yet from Cubs central whether or not Jason Marquis has been traded to the Colorado Rockies for reliever Luis Vizcaino. Rumors abounded on New Year’s Eve that a deal was close to exchange the 2 veteran pitchers. Cubs GM Jim Hendry has said that the move would be made in order to free up about $5 million in salary which would then allow the Cubs to sign free agent, switch-hitting Milton Bradley to play right field. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything concrete…
We’re definitely gonna miss Marquis’ bat and his sweet pinch-running skills (not to mention his 6 earned runs in 5+ innings box scores).
Posted on 01 January 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs are close to dealing Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for veteran reliever Luis Vizcaino. The Cubs have been trying to trade Marquis to clear salary space to sign a left-handed hitting outfielder. The Cubs will save about $5 million in 2009 salary if the trade happens. Marquis is owed just under $10 million for 2009, and the Cubs would likely have to pay approximately $1 million of that salary. Vizcaino is owed $3.5 million in 2009 and the Cubs would have to pay a $500,000 buyout if Vizcaino does not sign with the team for 2010.
Marquis has been a consistent pitcher for the Cubs in his 2 MLB seasons with the team. In 2007, Marquis started 33 games, pitched 191.2 innings, and won 12 games with a 4.60 ERA. In 2008, Marquis started 28 games, pitched 167 innings, and won 11 games with a 4.53 ERA. He has had double-digits in wins each of the last 5 seasons despite a high ERA.
Vizcaino has played for 5 different teams in each of the last 5 MLB seasons. With the Rockies in 2008, Vizcaino pitched only 46 innings in 43 games. He was 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA. Vizcaino has 34 career wins and a career ERA of 4.34.
It will be interesting to see if this deal happens. And if the Cubs do move Marquis, does it mean that the Cubs will also resume talks with the Padres for Jake Peavy, or if it was just a move to free space for the Cubs to acquire the left-handed hitting outfielder. The next week or so should be interesting…