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Nationals Sign Jason Marquis

The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year deal with free agent starting pitcher Jason Marquis, according to Hazel Mae of MLB.com. The story was first broke by MASN, although neither report mentions the financial terms of the deal yet.

Marquis likely will slot into the second spot in Washington's rotation, behind de facto ace John Lannan. Marquis is coming off his best season since 2004, posting a 4.10 FIP and a 4.41 xFIP in 216 innings for the Rockies, posting a very impressive 3.8 WAR. His primary value comes from his durability, he's made at least 28 starts in each of the past six seasons and has pitched 190+ innings in five of those seasons.

Considering that the Nationals realistically aren't contenders for 2010, it seems that this deal is primarily to add a veteran presence to a young rotation, giving the team a steady innings eater than can mentor some of the younger pitchers. With Marquis, John Lannan, Scott Olsen, Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler presumably set in the rotation, as well as Garrett Mock, J.D. Martin and Collin Balester, it appears highly unlikely that Stephen Strasburg starts the season in Washington.