Marquis Jetting To The Washington Nationals

So I called my dad yesterday, as I do after every excruciating, but yet classic New York Jets’ loss–and Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons was as classic as it gets– just to make sure he was in good health.

He is still in good health, but I can’t repeat the conversation because I would like to keep this a PG site. After he got done with his Joe Benigno-esque rant, we had this conversation…

Me: Did you hear the Washington Nationals signed Jason Marquis?

Dad: No, I didn’t. Didn’t he want to play for the Mets?

Me: Yup.

Dad: So why didn’t the Mets sign him?

Me: I have no idea. I guess signing a Jewish kid from New York made too much sense.

Dad: Idiots.

I really have no idea why the Mets didn’t sign Marquis. He openly campaigned for the Mets to sign him and it’s not to often a player openly admits to wanting to play for the Mets. Players don’t knock on their door like they do the New York Yankees.

But the Mets loss is a division rivals gain. As I mentioned above, the Nationals signed Marquis and they signed him to a two-year, $15 million contract.

The Mets missed out on Marquis

I am kind of torn about whether or not I like this signing.

On one hand, I look at this signing and ask the question–why? What’s the point of a team that is probably going to win 70 games next year signing a guy to a $15 million contract?

This is very similar to the Adam Dunn signing last year. By the time the Nationals are contenders, Dunn and Marquis probably won’t be on the team.

On the other hand, I say what’s the harm in signing Marquis? It’s not like they signed him to a five-year, $60 million deal. A two-year contract will not affect the Nationals in the long-term.

The Nationals finished 15th in the National League in starter’s ERA (4.97) and 13th in starter’s innings pitched (901.1) in 2009. Marquis will help the Nationals in both areas in 2010.

Marquis finished with 216 innings pitched with the Colorado Rockies in 2009, which ranked eighth in the National League. He also had a 4.01 ERA, which was Marquis’ lowest since 2004 (3.71).

Perhaps most importantly for the Nationals, Marquis can serve as a mentor to the young Nationals’ pitching staff. Guys like John Lannan finally now have  someone they can learn from.

There is also one more side to this deal, which I don’t have a hand for. It’s called the business side of baseball.

The Nationals have now signed Jason Marquis and Ivan Rodriguez and traded for Brian Bruney. Two out of three of those players are name guys.

The Nationals finished 24th out of 30 teams in baseball in attendance in 2009. These moves are not only being made to improve the ball club on the field, but to improve ticket sales as well.

Afterall, Marquis has played 10 years in the majors and in all 10 years his teams have made the playoffs. So the Nationals will be going to the playoffs in 2010 right?

Well, maybe not.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


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