The Cubs Are Being Up Front With Carlos Marmol: “You’re on the Block”

The Cubs are, unsurprisingly, shopping Carlos Marmol this week in Nashville, and, ultimately, the rest of the offseason if they can’t get something done at the Winter Meetings. Marmol, 30, is under contract through 2013, only, and he’ll make a healthy $9.8 million. On a team in the Cubs’ position, a $10 million closer is a luxury, not a necessity. And, with Kyuji Fujikawa soon to be in the fold, plus the Cubs still considering late inning options like Jason Grilli, there is going to be plenty of leeway to shop Marmol.

Marmol’s got a limited no-trade clause, so the Cubs are keeping in close contact with Marmol about their efforts. Indeed, Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs have been up front with Marmol and told him he’s a trade candidate this Winter, but that they’re not going to “give him away.”

In other words, “we’re shopping you heavily, we’d like to put together a deal, but prepare yourself for the possibility that you’re going to be a Cub come April, even though you know you were shopped.” Given that Marmol has already been asked to approve a deal once this offseason (the failed Dan Haren swap with the Angels), I like this up front approach. Marmol is a professional, and there are no illusions that, at the longest, he’ll be with the Cubs past 2013. So, you shop him, and you keep him in the loop (both because he already knows what’s going on, and because of his no-trade rights). If a deal comes together, great. If not, hopefully he’s been properly apprised throughout the process, and is ready to go when the 2013 season.

Of course, the Cubs make sure to add the “but we won’t give you away” piece to try and preserve what tiny bit of leverage they might have in trade talks. If the Cubs can put a deal together, what might the return look like?

Being that the Haren trade was a special case (recall, the Angels had almost no leverage with an option decision on Haren due on the day the trade was consummated), I don’t think I’d say that that is a fair representation of Marmol’s trade value. He was very effective in the second half, but I’m not sure that too many teams will view him as a solid closing option. Instead, he’d be a quality late-inning arm, who could be acquired on a one-year, low dollar deal (assuming the Cubs eat some of his salary). For that kind of a player, the Cubs can expect to get a decent, noteworthy prospect – but not a game-changer. Alternatively, the Cubs could try and pick up a fringy big league arm, or – God willing – a third baseman.

Just don’t expect a haul.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

86 responses to “The Cubs Are Being Up Front With Carlos Marmol: “You’re on the Block””

  1. marcel91

    I’d say cubs could get a bit less than the royals and angels got for Broxton and Walden. Probably another team’s former top prospect who hasn’t put things together but still has upside or 1-2 low level arms with some upside. Either I think is a decent return for Marmol.

  2. Brian Peters

    Thank you, Brett, for your tireless efforts in keeping us informed. Like a boatload of others on here, I’m sure, I check this page several times an hour on a normal day. Today through Thursday, I’ll probably triple the visits, and it’s because you produce reliable info, unlike some other pages that jump the gun. Thanks again!

  3. Frank

    Not sure w

  4. thejackal

    lmao its funny i check this site religiously my refresh button is about wore out on this page. im glad to see im not the only one. this has become like my bible so to speak bleeeeeeed cubbie blue

  5. kranzman54

    Considering Walden just got the Angels Tommy Hanson, couldn’t the Cubs get something similar if they eat some of the contrat?

    1. Frank

      Absolutely, if by somethig similar, you mean a gamble on a broken player. Oh wait, we did. From the Angels.

      1. kranzman54

        I see your point, but I gotta believe Hanson is worth quite a bit more than Haren. Both are coming off down years, but Hanson is just so much younger (26 vs. 32).

    2. fromthemitten

      Walden’s got a few years of team control whereas Marmol will be a free agent.

  6. Frank

    Not sure what type of space there is between “give away” and a haul,” but we need something of value, or it’s not worth it to get rid of him. Like is the case with Soriano, Cubs are paying him next year regardless, so there’s no point in paying it so he can pitch elsewhere while we get some 28 year old AA LOOGY and 20% salary relief. If we can’t get either significant salary relief or a decent player/prospect return, just hang onto him. If we’re out of the race in June/July, then we can shop him and take whatever we can.

  7. Tyron

    2+ same here

  8. MightyBear

    Marlins are shopping Escobar. Cubs should get him if at all possible.

    1. fromthemitten

      I don’t want that homophobic jackass on the Cubs

    2. cubfanincardinalland

      He can play 3B. Good hitter and the salary is not horrific. Comes with some baggage.

  9. wingit

    What exactly is his no trade clause? Just a handful of teams?

  10. wingit

    Thanks Brett.

  11. Dumpgobbler

    Brett, how busy are you this week? Will you be the “InfoGobbler”?

  12. #1lahairfan

    Trade Idea:
    Carlos Marmol and 3/4 of his salary for Andrew Chafin

    1. kranzman54

      He’s probably gonna end up working out of the bullpen. Seems like all our pitching prospects are moving that way anyway. We don’t need another pitching prospect that will likely head to the ‘pen

    2. Dumpgobbler

      Andrew Chafin is a bit too much for Marmol I’d think. Not terribly unrealistic by any means, but if I were Theo I’d take David Holmberg if they’d do that deal. Chafin is a good arm.

      I think Marmol + cash for David Holmberg would work a little better.

      1. #1lahairfan

        I would think that Holmberg is higher than Chafin on most prospect lists. So if you think Chafin is too much than Holmberg is even more much. Holmberg is a top 10 definite SP in AA. While Chafin will probably be a high-leverage RP in the MLB. He is probably a top 20prospect.

        Would “all” of Marmol’s contract do the trick?


        1. Dumpgobbler

          Maybe thing have changed but I was under the impression that Chafin was a just a bit behind the 3 big boys (Skaggs, Bauer, and Bradley), whereas Holmberg was a tier or two below that with guys like Meo.

          1. #1lahairfan

            I understand that’s list is horrible, but David Holmberg is rated as the # 8 prospect. While Andrew Chafin is #17. Holmberg had a great year, while Chafin is kind of a buy low.

            In addition Chafin WAS just behind Bauer, Bradley, and Skaggs. That was BEFORE his TJ and return to baseball.

            Just to clear things up, Brett or Luke, or anyone else opinions on who is the better prospect: Holmberg or Chafin? NOT who has higher upside who is the better prospect.

            I understand that a trade to the D-backs with MARMOL will probably not happen, but it is fun to think about because of their farm.

            1. Luke

              I think Holmberg has a better chance to stay in the rotation, and because he is more advance I think he’s a safer prospect. I’d take him over Chafin. Holmberg is also younger, reaching Double A at 20. Not too shabby, that.

  13. Believe in 2015

    Seems like there is a market for SS. Is Barney being shopped around?

  14. jacob

    Yeah Because keeping Ryan dempster in the know worked out Well…

  15. Justin

    Brett, what do you think the Cub’s chances are in snagging Headly or even Chisenhall? Headley will need a big return, but I think putting a package around Vitters, Jackson and a couple other decent prospects I can of wonder if they could make it happen. Then we sign Bourn since Jackson would be gone. Any thoughts?

  16. Assman22

    Braves and Cubs back at it again for a private meeting, Braves interested in Soriano, Cubs looking to revisit a deal for Delgado…

    1. jacob

      Where did you hear this?

      1. DarthHater

        Never question the assman. ;-)

        1. Internet Random


      2. Dan

        Ass knows ALL!

    2. Rich

      You do understand that this week there will be probably 20 to 25 of these type sit down closed door meetings. I would be more concerned if the Cubs couldn’t pull off a sit down with the Braves (meaning we got nothing they are interested in).

      1. Hardtop

        They won’t sign Bourn. He’s 31 and Boras wants 100 mil. A 31 year old center fielder for that kind if money would make the Soriano contract look like a bargain. In the last 5 years only hunter has started in center after the age of 33. Signing Bourn would be Silly.

    3. Assman22

      Met with Rays and Dodgers as well today. With new CBA, deals could/should get done sooner than in the past. Don’t be shocked to see some moves in the next couple days…

      1. Luke

        Dodgers are looking buy everything, so that makes sense.

        But the Rays? Unless Soriano is going to agree to play on turf or be a pure DH (I’m skeptical), I’m not sure I see the fit there. Interesting.

  17. fastball

    I don’t know that we are going to get something back for Marmol that contributes to the growth of this organization. That is if he is traded straight up. I would package him with Vitters and Jackson because I don’t think either of them fit this organizations future either.

    1. Marcel91

      I still don’t get why people say this. Theo and CO. value Defense, plate discipline, Power, and mental makeup. Jackson excels at all four while being above average defensively at a premium position and is still young. Vitters I understand isn’t this FO’s type but Jackson fits the mold to a tee. If he gets his K’s under control there’s no reason why he can’t be a long term piece.

      1. cheryl

        But the big if is his K’s.

  18. cubsklm

    Would the Cubs have any interest in the Japanese 3rd baseman Nakajima? I believe the Yankees won the rights for him last year, but couldn’t come to terms. I think he’s an unrestricted free agent.

    I think the big thing for the Cubs is to add another piece. The OF is really weak, and I am not sure Cubs fan can be that patient to wait through 90 to 100 loss seasons waiting for the kids to develop.

    1. #1lahairfan

      I would bet they are.

    2. cheryl

      Most recently the Diamondbacks showed interest in him but at shortstop on Nov. 20. He is a free agent and 30 I believe.

    3. Luke

      Yankees saw Nakajima as a backup, and I don’t have any reason to disagree with that. The Cubs have too many back up infielders on their roster as it is. I’d probably pass on him, unless the contract was super low or he has more ceiling than I’m aware of.

  19. MichCubFan

    Would it not be better to trade Marmol closer to the deadline? He can improve his own value and a few other teams might be more desperate for a closer so they would be willing to trade more for him.

    1. #1lahairfan

      This is probably as high as his value will get.

  20. nkniacc13

    wonder if marlins deal Nolasco. he want to be traded

    1. Holden

      wonder if they would trade infante and Nolasco for a package around vitters, lake, and another piece

      1. Hardtop

        Infante’s already gone , isn’t he? I thought they traded everyone with any semblance on talent, save mike Stanton

      2. King Jeff

        Infante went to Detroit with Anibal Sanchez.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          Indeed, Infante had his hand rather horrifyingly broken at the end of the last game of the WS! That one hurt badly just watching it.

  21. cheryl

    Brett, Know anything about this Japanese third basemen/shortstop that cubskim brought up?

  22. daveyrosello

    Do something Theo! C’mon!

  23. Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone read Jesse Rogers last couple tweets about what Theo told him? It suggests a platoon a 3rd base and maybe corner OF. Not what I like to hear. It be nice to pick up some more reliable midseason flippable pieces such as Brandon McCarthy or Jeff Keppinger. I’d also like them to deal soriano and marmol for a couple of decent high upside prospects. Make some moves

  24. cubsklm

    The market for a 3rd baseman is very weak. The Yankees will probably over pay for someone. I doubt A-Rod ever plays third again. He’ll be a DH if/when he returns.

    I believe Nakajima is 30, can play SS or third, hit .300 with 10-15 homers and 70 RBIs.

    I can’t stand to suffer thru a season with Valbuena at 3rd and watching Vitters struggle.

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      Cubskim: I completely agree. I can’t watch another game with Valbuena or Vitter’s terrible offensive production. Vitters needs at least half a season to a year more in the minors for him to work on his approach and swing (If he ever figures it out even). I’d rather have Ian Stewart then Valbuena, just for the fact of his pure upside if healthy. Maybe he could tap into that power potential, and with a healthy wrist get a little more bat speed to help up that batting average, he also grinds out at-bats, and sees pitches unlike valbuena, and he also plays a good defensive third base

  25. Jeff1969

    Nakajima = Tadahito Iguchi, with a little more speed? I think Iguchi was a SS in Japan when he was younger too. I’d take that.

  26. KYCub

    Cubs looking to lose 110 games before rebuilding. The Thed plan is in full force.