This is no surprise, because it's been rumored for a week or so, but today, the trade of Jason Marquis to the Rockies for Luis Vizcaino is official. From the Cubs' press release:
photo via images.stltoday.com
The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Luis Vizcaino from the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis and a cash consideration.
Vizcaino is 34-27 with seven saves and a 4.34 ERA (256 ER/531.1 IP) in 528 major league relief appearances with Oakland (1999-2001), Milwaukee (2002-04), the White Sox (2005), Arizona (2006), the Yankees (2007) and Colorado (2008). He has limited foes to a .242 batting average in his career, including a .238 mark (276-for-1158) by right-handed hitters and a .248 mark (209-for-844) by lefties. He has been especially effective in situations with runners in scoring position and two outs, limiting foes to a .183 mark (54-for-295) in those spots in his career.
The "cash consideration", apparently, makes the contract-swap savings for this deal approximately $5 million for the 2009 payroll and helped (along with the Mark DeRosa deal) pay for Milton Bradley's 2009 contract.
photo via cache.daylife.com
There have been a lot of bytes spilled anguishing over Marquis at this site over the two years he's been a Cub. However, I think Marquis did exactly what he was asked to do: take the ball every fifth day and pile up innings. He did so posting basically league-average numbers (101 ERA+ in 2007, 99 ERA+ in 2008), and was a useful hitter and pinch-runner. He is a lifetime .296 hitter with 3 doubles in 27 career AB at Coors Field, so the Rockies might get some value out of him as a hitter, too.
Apart from his one little outburst ("I want to be a starter!") last spring, he's been a good teammate. I wish him well, and there's at least a chance he might wind up as the Rockies' starter for the Cubs' home opener on April 13.
This also means that those two years of league-average performance cost the Cubs (approximately) $11 million -- which isn't so bad in today's market.
As for Vizcaino, it's possible he'll be flipped in a deal somewhere else before the season begins, since the Cubs don't seem to have much bullpen space. His contract is affordable for a lot of teams looking for bullpen help (the Brewers could use some, but they had him once already).