And there were several reasonably priced choices available: Jason Marquis, Jon Garland, Braden Looper, Joel Piniero, Brett Myers, Jarrod Washburn, and Brad Penny were the top names, after the true headliners, John Lackey and Randy Wolf.
Well, we all know what happened. Rizzo went aggressively after Marquis gave him two years and $15 million as one of the earliest big free agent signings of the off-season. And after 8.1 innings and 19 earned runs, Marquis went to the DL.
In the meantime, several of the guys Rizzo passed over have done much better, and some for much less:
- Garland (1 year/$5.3M): 91 IP, 3.26 ERA in San Diego
- Myers (1 year/$5.1M): 101.1 IP, 3.20 ERA in Houston
- Piniero: (2 years/$16M): 98.1 IP, 4.21 ERA in Anaheim
- Penny (1 year/$7.5M): 55.2 IP, 3.23 ERA in St. Louis
For a team desperately in need of a starting pitcher as they go through a classic June swoon, Rizzo's decision to go after Jason Marquis stands as one of the biggest mistakes of his young regime.