Francoeur Confused About Marquis?
According to Jeff Francoeur, Colorado pitcher Jason Marquis would “love to” play for the Mets.
Per Frenchy, in the New York Post:
“He’d be a great fit. He’s from Staten Island. He’s a New York type of guy. He’ll probably be coming off the best season he’s ever had.”
Jeff is only half-right. Yes, Jason Marquis would “love” to play in New York — for the Yankees, the team that he grew up rooting for as a Staten Island youngster. But not only because he was a big fan of the Bronx Bombers — but also because the Yankees will PAY.
I strained my oblique muscle from laughter when I read this later sentence typed by Mike Puma in the same article:
Marquis’ easiest path to the Mets would be to accept a hometown discount.
When Jason Marquis was coming off his WORST season as a big leaguer — one in which he lost 16 games, had an ERA over 6, and was left off the Cardinals’ postseason roster as they marched to their improbable championship — he hit the jackpot with a 3-year, $21M deal.
Now, it’s understood that the financial climate in the winter of 2006 was much different than it is now. But considering that Marquis is finishing up the BEST season of his career, I doubt very highly he’s interested in a pay cut.
There aren’t many starting pitchers out there who are a virtual lock to give a team 190+ innings — which Marquis has done five out of the last six years. That on its own, even in a tough market, is worth at least $7-8M per annum (see: Jon Garland). Garland’s price was that low because his ERA was near five and teams felt he was helped by a superior supporting cast. I’d guess that Marquis is looking at a deal in the neighborhood of 3 years / $36M — or what Oliver Perez received last winter. He might get even more, particularly if a New York team enters the bidding. Most likely, the Mets won’t be that New York team — not when they’re looking to cut payroll, rather than add to it.
One more little issue with Jeff Francoeur’s campaign for Marquis — Francoeur himself is not guaranteed to be in New York next year. Personally, I’d be happy to see both Francoeur and Marquis in Mets uniforms next season, but there’s still the matter of arbitration for Frenchy. Rumors abound that the Mets are considering a 3-year extension — in essence to buy out his arbitration years — but as of this moment Francoeur does not have a contract for 2010.
Time will tell. If anything, it shold be an interesting offseason.