Nationals are heating up 

July, 30, 2011
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was wheeling and dealing Saturday, trading starting pitcher Jason Marquis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league middle infielder Zach Walters. The Nationals had four clubs that had expressed interest in Marquis, but the Diamondbacks were the only club willing to assume the entire $2.47 million on his contract as well as deal a solid prospect such as Walters.

Marquis, 32, was 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 20 starts and a WHIP of 1.417 with Washington. He won in double digits six of the last seven years and has pitched at least 190 innings or more in five seasons. He was originally drafted by the Braves in the first round of the 1996 first-year player draft. The Diamondbacks are his sixth major league team.

Walters, 21, was the Diamondbacks' ninth-round draft pick in 2010. He was hitting .302 with a .377 OBP, 27 doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBIs and 12 stolen bases for the Diamondbacks' low Class A South Bend affiliate in the Midwest League. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop who might have to be moved to second base. He’s a 55 runner with good hands and below-average range. His bat should play and has some pop.