Brace yourself for more frustration.
Carlos Marmol is one of the best relievers in baseball. When he’s on. Which is not always. And, because he’s a closer, those times that he’s “not on” are magnified.
But, undeterred, the Cubs signed Marmol to a weighty extension earlier this year, which pays him $3.2 million this year, $7 million next year, and $9.8 million in 2013. He represents an expensive luxury for a team not particularly in need of a closer (especially one who isn’t great at converting saves) right now.
And, when the Texas Rangers came a-calling about Marmol, the Cubs should have been tickled pink to make a deal. Sean Marshall has emerged as a less-expensive, but equally-effective late-inning reliever. He could take over the closer’s job for 2012, the Cubs could pick up some prospects, and could clear some salary for next season. Win, win, win.
So, naturally, guess what the Cubs did?
They turned the Rangers down, says George Ofman.
Maybe the offer was garbage. But Marmol is precisely the kind of player the Cubs should be shopping. And, even if they aren’t interested in actively shopping him, if another team asks, you listen. Maybe the Cubs did. Maybe they didn’t. Based on how many other players are becoming “untouchable,” I think it’s fair to conclude the latter.
Clearly, something is going on behind the scenes that we can’t see. Whatever it is, it prohibits the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry from behaving rationally with respect to making moves to improve the long-term health of the organization.
Unless that mysterious “something” is itself something that helps improve the long-term health of the organization (and I’m not sure what it could be), you can feel free to tear the roof off of this place. In other words: get angry.