MASN Reports: Nationals to Sign RHP Jason Marquis

UPDATE 3:50: MASN’S Byron Kerr spoke with Nationals Pitcher Jason Bergmann,  who said:

“I am excited that we are able to add a starting pitcher of his caliber. It is a good day for our team and our fan base. It shows the league that the Nats are serious about getting better and contending. Marquis is a top of rotation starter that can go deep into games. He was an all star last year and is a ground ball pitcher. He is a veteran presence on our pitching staff and can be a mentor for our younger players.”

UPDATE 3:36: Mark Fiensand tweeted the Nationals signed Marquis for two years, $15 million, pending a physical.

These numbers, if true, represent a very interesting change from conventional thought and the belief in the “Nats Tax.” Once news broke that Marquis had chosen the Nationals, the immediate belief was that the club must have offered him the third year that other suitors, like the New York Mets, had not. Instead, Marquis genuinely chose to go to Washington over other teams, which certainly is a big development here. Things are changing in D.C.

2:15: MASN Sports reported this afternoon that the Washington Nationals have reached an agreement with free-agent starting pitcher Jason Marquis. Marquis, 31, went 15-13 for the Colorado Rockies last season while earning his first career All-Star appearance.

Marquis pitched 213 innings in 2009, a number that the Nationals found attractive as they were in the market for a pitcher who could eat up innings in their rotation. Jason finished the season with a 4.04 ERA and struck out 115 batters while allowing 80 walks. Marquis had the best FIP of his career last year at 4.10, and the highest ground ball percentage at 55.6%.

Marquis numbers as a whole can be deceiving however. His first half of 2009, which earned him the All-Star appearance, was much better than his second.

1st Half: 11-6, 3.65 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .264 BAA
2nd Half: 4-7, 4.56 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, .284 BAA

Projections for 2010:

Bill James: 4.37 ERA, 12-11 W-L, 202 IP, 3.43 BB/9, .268 BAA
CHONE:   4.73 ERA, W-L PNA , 177 IP, 3.65 BB/9, PNA
ZiPS:          4.44 ERA, 11-12 W-L, 184.1 IP, 3.25 BB/9, PNA