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Time Is Now To Trade Soriano & Marmol

By bullpenbrian at 01.31.2013 Leave a comment.


Pitchers and catchers report to Arizona in less than two weeks and the Cubs have yet to deal Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Marmol.

I’m not surprised it’s taken so long, there are sticky circumstances with each player (partial and full no-trade clauses), but I do find myself concerned with the risk involved in waiting to play ‘let’s make a deal’ until mid-season.

It’s unlikely Soriano’s trade value will ever be higher coming off his terrific 2012 season. He proved there’s still enough pop in his bat to be a formidable middle of the order slugger; he greatly improved his defense and most importantly, he’s healthy.

Meanwhile, after a rough start for Marmol last season, in which he temporarily lost his closer’s role, Marmol bounced back with a very respectable second half. But the Cubs know Marmol’s greatest weakness is his inconsistency, which partly explains why they attempted to trade him for Dan Haren in November.

But ever since that deal fell through Marmol’s name has hardly registered on the trade radar. The Cubs clearly want to deal this guy, but nobody seems interested in giving up much, if anything, in return for him.

While I respect what appears to be the Cubs’ decision to hold out for the best offer on both Soriano and Marmol, I‘m also beginning to fear the Cubs are ready to assume the risks involved with starting the season with both players on the roster, despite the tremendous risk in rolling the dice on either Soriano or Marmol picking up where they left off last year.

More specifically, what happens if Soriano and Marmol get off to a slow start, or worse, suffers an injury? (Remember, all 32 of Soriano’s HRs came after May 14th last season) Then how much comes back for a 37-year-old outfielder with battered legs, and a wildly inconsistent closer who can’t find the strikezone? What team will want to spend the roughly $10 million it will cost to land one of these individuals? I don’t know, either?

IS THERE A BENEFIT TO KEEPING EITHER?

I can understand the Cubs’ intentions to field a more competitive team becomes increasingly more difficult without Soriano’s bat in the lineup and his leadership in the clubhouse. Both aspects of his game are practically irreplaceable on the current roster.

The bullpen is arguably the weakest link on the team aside from the uncertainties at third base. With ‘good’ Marmol the bullpen is of course a little stronger, but the ‘bad’ Marmol sucks the life out of an already thin relief corps.

The fact of the matter is if Team Theo doesn’t pull the trigger on these trades soon, I fear they may not have the chance later on, and that would be a huge swing-and-miss for the front office in Year 2 of the rebuild.

We’ve managed to wait this long, but I’ll be interested to see where we’re at in two weeks, with or without Soriano and Marmol.

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