Cubs may deal Marquis for Vizcaino

Cubs may deal Marquis for Vizcaino

The Cubs are nearing their offseason objective to shed Jason Marquis and his salary, being on the verge of dealing the right-hander to the Rockies for reliever Luis Vizcaino, according to a report by ESPN subsequently confirmed by the Denver Post.

The Post report termed the deal done "in principle," with an announcement not expected prior to next week. A Cubs official contacted by MLB.com would not confirm the report.

Marquis, who is due to earn $9,875,000 in 2009, had been perceived as one of the obstacles to the Cubs' earlier interest in acquiring San Diego right-hander Jake Peavy -- a proposed deal subsequently termed "dead" by both parties.

The Cubs will net a payroll savings of about $5 million in the exchange, according to the Post, assuming only about $1 million of Marquis' contract, while inheriting the $4 million still owed Vizcaino.

Vizcaino's 2009 salary calls for $3.5 million, with a 2010 option at $4 million, and a $500,000 buyout. The 34-year-old reliever appeared in 43 games for the Rockies last season.

Marquis, 30, has been a consistent winner despite escalating ERAs -- 4.53 last season while he went 11-9 in 28 starts. In the last five seasons, the first three with the Cardinals, he has won 65 games, posting a sub-4.13 ERA only once.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.