by Ralph Routon
Jason Marquis, who proved last year that starting pitchers can enhance their value pitching for the Colorado Rockies, isn't sticking around to press his luck.
Marquis, who gave the Rockies a solid 15-13 record with a 4.40 ERA and made the National League All-Star team last season, reportedly has agreed to a two-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $15 million.
The 31-year-old Marquis, who came to Colorado from the Chicago Cubs, endeared himself to the fans at Coors Field with his gritty perseverance on the mound and a surprisingly productive bat at the plate. There was even some speculation that the Rockies might try to keep Marquis, and in fact the front office did offer him arbitration to remain for at least one more year.
But his late-season fade (typical for him in previous years) and being taken out of the team's playoff starting rotation convinced the front office not to offer him anything longer-term, which means now the Rockies will have to look elsewhere for someone to fill out the regular starting spots for the 2010 season. With young Jhoulys Chacin and others expected to compete in spring training, Colorado still might look for another veteran in a situation similar to Marquis a year ago.
The good news for Colorado, though, is that because Marquis was offered arbitration, Colorado will receive a compensatory pick in the next draft.