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Cubs nearing long-term extension with Carlos Marmol

Feb 4, 2011, 12:09 AM EDT

Florida Marlins v Chicago Cubs

According to David Kaplan and Fred Mitchell, two baseball writers for the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs are nearing agreement on a long-term extension with closer Carlos Marmol.

There’s not much information available at the moment.  The bit of news only got two sentences on the Tribune‘s website, one which pretty much reads like the introduction here in this post and one that says an announcement should come “before pitchers and catchers report” to spring training next weekend.

Marmol was eligible for arbitration this winter for the second time in his career.  He requested a $5.65 million salary and was offered $4.1 million by the Cubs when figures were exchanged in mid-January.

The Cubs can simply decide to buy out Marmol’s final two arbitration seasons with a two-year contract.  Or they can go big, wrapping the Dominican fireballer up through several years of free agency.

The 28-year-old finished with a 2.55 ERA and 38 saves last season for Chicago, fanning 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings for a record 15.99 K/9.  He’s entering his prime, by all accounts, and that prime should be a good one.

  1. pacgnosis2 - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    I don’t know about anyone else, but the words “long-term commitment” and “Carlos Marmol” really don’t seem to go together.

    Don’t get me wrong, he can be absolutely dominant… but wouldn’t it behoove the Cubs to be more cautious with such a high-walk-rate, emotionally driven pitcher?

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    His strike outs are great, but his walks should be a concern especially for a closer. The walks are by far the most of any closer in either league. I’m not sure I understand why the Cubs would want to give a “long term” contract to someone that they have control over for at least 2 more years. I’t can’t be a case of saving a couple of million dollars in arbitration. The Cubs have the money. It seems to me the risks outweigh the rewards since they control him anyway.

  3. scapistron - Feb 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Even with all of those walks he is still a quite successful pitcher, and should do fine going forward. On a per nine inning basis ha strikes out 6.5 more batters than he walks. Rivera strikes out 6 more batters than he walks. Marmol’s contact rate is so low that it doesn’t matter if he gives up walks, because no one can seem to put the ball in play.

    • hackerjay - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      Exactly. If nobody can ever get a hit off you it doesn’t matter if you walk three guys every inning.

      Marmol has been one of the best relievers over the last four years, and he was arguably the best closer in the NL last year. I mean, 16 Ks/9 is just ridiculous.

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