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12/19/2006 5:46 PM ET
Cubs and Jason Marquis agree to three-year deal
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The Chicago Cubs today announced that the club has agreed to a three-year deal with free agent right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis.

Marquis, 28, made a career-high 33 starts last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He reached milestone marks in 2006 - recording his 50th career win on June 4 vs. the Cubs and 500th career strikeout on June 26 vs. Cleveland.

Marquis began the 2006 season by going 3-0 in his first three starts, April 6-17. He posted a season-high six-game winning streak in seven starts May 13-June 16, limiting hitters to a .197 batting average (34-for-173) and striking out 17 with a 3.31 ERA (18 ER/49.0 IP) over the stretch.

Since the start of the 2004 season, Marquis has notched 42 victories which are more wins than Jason Schmidt (41), Barry Zito (41) or Pedro Martinez (40) have had in that span.

Originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round (35th pick overall) of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, Marquis has compiled a 56-52 record with a 4.55 ERA (460 ER/910.1 IP) in 194 career games (137 starts) with the Braves (2000-2003) and the St. Louis Cardinals (2004-2006). He has pitched 194.1 or more innings in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 207.0 innings in 2005.

Marquis made his Major League debut with Atlanta in 2000 and appeared in 96 games (40 starts) over four seasons for the Braves before being traded to the Cardinals, along with pitchers Ray King and Adam Wainwright, in exchange for outfielders J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero in December 2003.

The Manhasset, N.Y., native was honored in 2005 with the NL Louisville Silver Slugger Award. He hit .310 (27-for-87) with eight doubles, a triple, home run and 10 RBI that season for the Cardinals. A lifetime .223 batter (69-for-310), Marquis has 26 career RBI.

A seven-year veteran, Marquis has appeared in the postseason three different seasons: with Atlanta in the 2001 NLCS and with St. Louis in all three rounds of the 2004 postseason and in the 2005 NLCS.

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