A question I want to throw out there to the savants haunting TGP: we've signed Jason Marquis....why? I gather this is a "low-cost flyer" on a guy who, once he recuperates from Tommy John and gets some innings in Clearwater, may be able to "give us innings." I presume that the scenario in which Marquis would pitch significant big league innings for us is one in which it is generally understood that things have gone pear-shaped and belly-up. So, uh, um.... what is the point of signing him again?
I get that someone needs to throw the ball 60' 6" and someone needs to catch it. I also gather that our farm system is considered to be empty, and for pitching there's only Jesse Biddle and he's not ready. OK, so, fine. But I'm genuinely curious: is there no one in AA or AAA right now who projects more or less as well as Kyle Kendrick did when he was called up for good? Because my memory is that KK was no sort of prospect - really viewed as a borderline major leaguer at best. He just happened to be the guy who got called up, and then he did just enough - at times just barely enough - to stick. Is there no one in the system who looks like a legit prospect to put up borderline-5th starter numbers? And, if there is such a guy, why on earth would you pass up the chance to find out, in a lost season - which is the only type of season when Marquis would be appearing? I'm not carrying a torch for David Buchanan but just to take a guy at random: I gather he's not viewed as legit MLB material, but what, do we think he'd have an ERA over 10 if he made 16 starts? Would he be so much worse than Marquis? And doesn't he have a tiny, yet greater than Marquis, chance of figuring it out and blossoming into an acceptable fringe major leaguer who could play at the league minimum for several years?
It's not like it matters much, but if nothing else, giving a (one-time, perhaps) shot to an organizational soldier can really send positive signals throughout your system. Yes, yes, it's a minor point - it's a tiebreaker at most - but it's never a bad idea to remind the guys laboring away on long International League bus trips that the organization hasn't forgotten them and they might make it to the Show. Signing a broken-down Marquis as roster filler seems like a way of telling all the minor league guys "we wouldn't call you up if we were the last baseball team on Earth."