The Chicago Cubs and closer Carlos Marmol have been working on a long-term deal for a few weeks now. The two sides would like to reach an agreement in lieu of arbitration, for which Marmol is eligible the second time. Marmol requested $5.65 million for 2011 and the Cubs offered $4.1 million.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the two sides are nearing a “long-term deal,” which would be announced some time before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next weekend. Details are sparse, but previous indications were that the sides would like to nail down a three-year deal, which would buy out Marmol’s first year of free agency, in addition to his latter two arbitration years. Back of the pencil math suggests a three-year deal would net Marmol something in the range of $20 to $24 million (about $5 million in 2011, about $7 to 8 million in 2012, and about $8 to 11 million in 2013).
It’s a lot of money to commit to a relatively inconsistent closer, but there’s no arguing that Marmol – when on – is one of the most dominant relievers in baseball (if not the most dominant). Thus, there’s some value in nailing down contract certainty for a few years.