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Jason Marquis has Elbow Surgery

The Nationals have been one of baseball's biggest surprises to date, but this news is quite discouraging:

Jason Marquis underwent surgery Friday to remove bone chips from his elbow and is expected to return to the major leagues in eight weeks, General Manager Mike Rizzo said.

The Nationals signed Marquis during the offseason to a two-year, $15 million contract, and the start to his Nationals tenure was nothing less than a disaster. He went 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA in three starts, but the injury made the Nationals believe his dismal results were because of his health.

Marquis pitched Tuesday in a minor league rehab assignment and the next day felt his elbow "locked up," he said. Tim Kremcheck performed Friday's surgery. Marquis will start rehab immediately, and in four to six weeks he will be able to begin throwing in minor league rehab games.

It's easy to look back at this signing now and criticize GM Mike Rizzo for investing in Jason Marquis, but people need to remember the original intent behind signing Marquis. The Nationals were looking for someone to stabilize their rotation by being a consistent presence in the starting rotation and eating plenty of innings, two criteria which Marquis should have excelled. Looking back at the contract, $15 million might have been a tad excessive, but if Marquis was healthy and productive, then there would be no way that the Nationals or Rizzo would have faced any criticism for the deal.

We'll see what Marquis is able to offer the Nationals in the future, but it will be interesting to see if this deal goes down as one of the bigger mistakes of Mike Rizzo's tenure...even though the intent behind the deal was solid.