Aside from Trevor Story, no player will be drawing as much interest from the vultures circling over the Rockies than German Márquez. And rightfully so. The right-hander checks almost every single box.
For starters, Márquez is durable, an attribute that has been missing from the Blue Jays’ pitching staff in recent seasons. The Venezuelan hurler has started over 25 games in each of his three full seasons, and led all of baseball in starts during last year’s shortened season, with 13 trips to the bump.
Márquez is also under contract until 2025. Given that he is only 25, this contract will likely cover his prime years.
Although Márquez has never posted an ERA below 3.75, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Whereas Blue Jays brass might have shied away from a pitcher like this before 2021, the injection of George Springer and Marcus Semien into a lineup already chock full of home-grown producers should do away with any concerns about run support.
Márquez makes up for his ERA with strikeouts. A lot of strikeouts. The 6’1, 230-pounder already has a 200-K season under his belt, and with a fastball that averages out at around 96 m.p.h., more can be expected.
Also, not to get scientific, but a change in altitude might help Márquez out with his problem with the high number of runs he has allowed. He’s given up 20 or more home runs in every full season that he’s played, but a move away from the thin air of Coors Field could assist with that.
He would also balance out the Jays’ rotation. Prospective starters Hyun Jin Ryu, Steven Matz and Robbie Ray are all southpaws.
If the Jays can nab Márquez for a reasonable pair of prospects and some cash, he’d fit nicely in the three or four spot in the rotation. If Colorado is asking for too much, maybe Atkins can change the subject to another Rockies righty.