The Washington Nationals signed Jason Marquis to a two-year, $15 million contract before the 2010 season. He missed much of last year with elbow injuries, but has had a solid season in 2011, posting a 3.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 21 starts, while compiling an 8-5 W/L record. This is very much in line with his career before 2010, when he was a capable fourth/fifth starter for several teams, including the Braves, Cardinals, Cubs and Rockies.
Marquis has thus drawn considerable interest from contending teams looking for starting pitching help. Today, Jon Morosi tweets that he has apparently been traded:
Trade is agreed upon, source says: Jason Marquis to #Dbacks. #Nats
The Diamondbacks weren't expected to contend for a playoff spot before this season began, but are hanging in there in the NL West, four games behind the division-leading Giants, and they are also just 4.5 games out of the wild card lead. The first four pitchers in their rotation (Ian Kennedy, Josh Collmenter, Daniel Hudson and Joe Saunders) have been solid, but Arizona has had little luck with the fifth spot; Armando Galarraga, Zach Duke, Barry Enright and others have all been pretty bad.
Marquis brings something else to the table; he's a good hitter with a career BA of .199 and five home runs. Teams have also employed him as a pinch-runner, so he can serve as a sort of extra bench player.