Nationals Sign Matt Capps, Jason Marquis

Courtesy of the Washington Nationals | 1/9/2010, 11:15 a.m.

Nationals Sign All-star Right Hander Jason Marquis to a Two-Year Contract

The Washington Nationals have signed right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis to a two-year contract. Nationals Senior Vice President & General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Marquis joins the Nationals after going 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA in 33 starts for Colorado last season. Marquis matched Ubaldo Jimenez for the Rockies team lead in wins and starts, and his career-high 216.0 innings ranked eighth in the National League. The 15 wins ranked fourth in the National League and matched a career high set in 2004.Marquis€ efforts last season resulted in his first All-Star invitation, as he paced the NL in first-half wins (11) en route to becoming just the fourth Colorado starting pitcher to earn a spot in the Mid-Summer Classic. His strong 2009 campaign was aided by a 23 percent drop in home runs allowed per 9.0 innings and a 13 percent drop in walks per 9.0 innings as compared to 2008, his final season with the Cubs.

An extreme ground-ball pitcher by trade, last season Marquis ranked second in baseball by inducing 395 ground balls and his 2.15/1 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio ranked fourth in the NL. In six seasons beginning with 2004, Marquis ranks fifth in baseball in both ground balls induced (1,976) and double-play grounders induced (135).

The 31 year-old Marquis is 94-83 (.531) with a 4.48 ERA in 290 career games/231 starts spanning 10 seasons with Colorado (2009), Chicago-NL (2007-08), St. Louis (2004-06) and Atlanta (2000-03).

Marquis is one of only 10 big league pitchers to record a double-digit win total every season since 2004, and the lone hurler to turn the trick exclusively in the National League. In six seasons beginning with 2004, Marquis has registered 15- (twice: 2009, 2004), 14- (2006), 13- (2005), 12- (2007) and 11-win (2008) seasons for either the Rockies, Cubs or Cardinals.

Marquis€ efforts on the mound have helped his club reach the post-season in each of his 10 big league seasons.

The 2005 Silver Slugger winner for hitting excellence, Marquis has posted 28 doubles, five home runs and 48 RBI during his career.

Nationals Sign Closer Matt Capps

The Nationals have also signed free-agent right-handed closer Matt Capps. Nationals Senior Vice President & General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Capps signs with Washington after going 19-19 with 29 holds, 67 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 271 appearances spanning five seasons (2005-09) with Pittsburgh. Capps completes his Pirates career ranked sixth on Pittsburgh€s all-time saves list.

Since seizing the Pirates€ closer role in June of 2007, Capps successfully converted an above-grade 85 percent (66 of 78) of his save opportunities and paced Pittsburgh in saves each season. Only once in that span of 78 save opportunities has Capps surrendered a blown save when entering the game with a lead of more than one run.

Excluding his 18 career intentional walks, the 26 year-old Capps has issued just 1.06 (unintentional) walks per 9.0 innings during his career, a figure that ranks second all-time among those with at least 50 career saves.

Capps€ career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.2/1 (208 strikeouts, 50 walks) ranks second among active closers with 50 or more saves. Only Boston€s Jonathan Papelbon (4.5/1) has posted a superior SO/BB ratio using those guidelines.

Capps went 4-8 with 27 saves and a 5.80 ERA in 57 appearances in 2009, his final campaign with the Pirates. The 27 saves tied for 10th in the National League.