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Trading Carlos Marmol

By bullpenbrian at 04.30.2012 5 comments.

It’s hard to believe Dale Sveum has any confidence left in Carlos Marmol.

Marmol’s performance Sunday, full of walks, wildness and unforced errors, has become common place for the right-hander. Not even a five-run lead could keep us from biting our fingernails.

The idea Marmol would improve from a dreadful 2011 season has nearly vanished. He’s allowed more walks (9) than innings pitched (7.2) and his five-runs allowed nearly matches his six strikeouts.

He’s also blown 2 of 3 save opportunities.

I’ve continually pleaded for the Cubs to return Marmol to a setup role, but it seems ever since he signed ‘closer money’ following the 2010 season it’s not a topic up for debate.

In the unlikely event Marmol does regain his form it’s probably best that doesn’t happen with the Cubs, or won’t happen with the Cubs.

No need to keep a veteran guy you can’t count on, especially with the game on the line and the club already in search of its future closer. 

So why not let another club gamble on Marmol’s past success?

For all the reasons stated above it’s understandable why finding a taker for Marmol won’t come easily for GM Jed Hoyer.

Marmol still has another year remaining on his contract–and $9.8M is no small chunk of change. But I imagine there are real possibilities for finding Marmol another suitor.

Last season the Brewers dealt for Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, forced him into a setup role and formulated a dominating one-two punch with John Axford.

As much as K-Rod sulked over the fact he wasn’t closing, he couldn’t argue with his and the club’s success. That feeling apparently wore off by season’s end when he resigned with Milwaukee–as Axford’s top setup man.

I think a similar scenario would work well for Marmol, particularly in the American League where hitters are not as familiar with him.

I look at a team like Baltimore trying to keep pace in the AL East. The Orioles have the best bullpen ERA (1.88) in the majors. Adding Marmol as re-enforcement to closer Jim Johnson would seem of little risk.

Seattle’s pen, on the other hand, isn’t as good and is spotty behind closer Brandon League.

Cleveland is contending in the AL Central; Marmol could add value in front of All Star closer Chris Perez.

Or how about packaging Geovany Soto in a deal with Marmol to Tampa Bay where Joe Maddon uses a closer by committee approach?

The obvious suitor is San Fan with Brian Wilson done for the year. The Giants, with Wilson, were looking like contenders for a Wild Card spot. Perhaps now, without Blackbeard, they’re desperate enough to roll the dice on Marmol?

Whatever the case may be, it grows ever more frustrating to watch Marmol come more unglued with each passing outing.

That doesn’t bode well for his trade value, of course, which is why I think Theo Epstein & Hoyer are leaving no rock unturned when it comes to trade possibilities for Marmol—and the sooner the better.

But finding a team confident in Marmol’s current abilities has me just as worried as watching Marmol trying to get three outs in the ninth. You know it could happen, but will it?

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5 Comments

  1. Lisa H says:

    I wonder if Dale Sveum feels the same intense anxiety and desire to scream whenever he calls Marmol up to close as the fans do? I also wonder “what” is keeping the front office from trading him or making him accountable for doing his job.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Yes, I think Sveum gets anxious with Marmol closing! The skipper is human, after all, and he’s probably more on edge than the fans are.

      Sadly, the days of Marmol dominating the mound appear over. His loss of command, and the strike zone, just can’t happen in close games when walks, wild pitches & hit batsmen can make the difference between winning and losing.

      I don’t understand either why the Cubs have not pulled Marmol from the closer’s role. That certainly would be one way to hold Marmol accountable–and I’m all for it.

      I think the real reason lies somewhere in between the Cubs paying Marmol ‘Closer Money’ (ie: he’s expensive) and just the lack of a true closer on the roster behind him. (That’s another post for anther time!)

      Meanwhile, Cubs fans are up in arms Marmol is still a Cub…’What’s taking so long?” Simply said, what GM in his right mind wants Carlos Marmol? And why would any GM want to trade the Cubs a player of higher value, or any value for that matter, for an inept closer who can’t get the job done?

      And as always, there’s $$$ involved…Another team wouldn’t just be taking on the risk for Carlos this season, he’s still guaranteed another year and for more money ($9.8M) than his current inflated deal ($7.0M) in 2012.

      Theo/Jed will need to be creative to deal Marmol. That won’t be easy with a guy who’s not pitching well, has a ton of millage on his throwing arm and is making nearly $10M per year. That’s one tough sale, eh!

      Thanks for checking in, Lisa. Let’s keep our fingers crossed :)

  2. sirrahh says:

    Yesterday I was listening to game on the radio, and the news that Marmol was warming up made my blood run cold. No lie.

    This team will never contend with Marmol as the closer. Anyone who can’t see that is still stuck in 2010. If I know this, I have to believe that anyone entrusted with a major league team will know enough to stay away from him, too.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      No doubt. Dealing Marmol will be a tough, tough sell. It’s obvious he’s not the pitcher, or closer, he once was, say three or four years ago.

      In the meantime, however, it’s in our best interest to root for Marmol. Until he strings together a few decent outings, there’s very little hope Theo/Jed will find a taker for him.

      I’m curious how Sveum will use Marmol going forward. The Cubs need Marmol to get some work in, but will the Cubs skipper risk using him in Late/Close situations?

      Thanks for checking the post out & commenting, Sirrahh.

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