It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs are shopping outfielder Alfonso Soriano and closer Carlos Marmol this week. Heck, it’s so much “not a secret” that the Cubs have been up front with each player and explained that they are listening to offers. As expensive, productive pieces on a team not expected to be competitive in 2013, the two make the most sense as trade pieces for the rebuilding Cubs.

But are teams actually interested in the duo? Soriano is coming off a huge rebound in 2012, but he’ll be 37 next year, and is owed $18 million in each of the next two years. Marmol was magnificent in the second half of the season last year, but he remains as inconsistent as any nominal closer in baseball.

Fortunately, yes, says Bruce Levine – the Cubs are finding interest in their two most available players. From ESPNChicago:

The Chicago Cubs have been pleased to find plenty of interest in veteran players such as outfielders Alfonso Soriano and closer Carlos Marmol. And although these winter meetings have been more about free-agent signings than blockbuster trades, teams are encouraged that the logjam on deals could be broken before teams go home Thursday ….

The slow-moving trade market does not really concern the Cubs, who have time and economics on their side. Numerous teams will need closer help between now and opening day. The only convoluting factor in Marmol’s situation is that he is one year away from free agency. The 30-year-old pitcher will make $10 million in the last year of a three-year $21 million contract he signed in late 2010. Marmol has veto power in his contract language over being traded to five teams.

Soriano has been of interest to a number of teams in the American League.

The Cubs may not be able to move either player until the free agent market shakes out further, but they’ve got no reason to rush. If they are, indeed, content on having another down in year in 2013, and instead focus on stockpiling young assets, the Cubs can happily wait out the market and try to squeeze a better return later in the Winter.

As free agent contracts escalate, the amount the Cubs will have to eat to trade Soriano and Marmol decreases. Of course, the Cubs’ priority will remain getting back talent, however much money they have to send along to make a deal happen. Don’t expect more than a decent (organizational 10 to 20) prospect for Marmol, but I think – if the money’s right – the Cubs could pull out an organizational top ten for Soriano. They might even try to pick up an ML-ready arm instead.

  • Holden

    I really should be studying for a Commercial Law exam for last year of law school but exams shouldn’t be placed during the Winter Meetings. I digress. If we trade Sori, we better have someone to at least add some pop to protect Rizzo or we could see a deep decline and regression in him. He will get thrown nothing but junk. Who has pop on the market that can be hidden in LF?

    • THEOlogical

      Soriano, oh wait…..

      • Holden

        Soriano can be had for top 10 org prospect, that means 8,9,or 10, guy. Depending on the farm thats most likely going to be a C prospect; somewhere in that range. If we have to pay half and get back just one guy that may have a chance of being useful, but not a star, why are we trading Sori?

        • Norm

          You would rather have Soriano on this team than someone like Christian Villanueva, Matt Szczur, Pierce Johnson, Jeimer Candelario, Marco Hernandez, Duane Underwood or Junior Lake in the minor league system?

          The more of those guys they get, the more likely one of them breaks out into a B or better prospect.
          Soriano will get the Cubs 2-3 wins for the next two years.

          • Kyle

            Of course it’s better to have Soriano than any one of those guys you mentioned. Holy hell, the guy hit 30 HRs last season in the major leagues.

            • Deez

              We still lost 100 games & he’s not a good run producer. Soriano is very streaky.

            • Norm

              YAY for 61 wins.
              How is a 37 year old Soriano’s 31 homers in 2012 better for the organization’s future than a possible 6 years of MLB service time?

              • Kyle

                The chance that the team might be competitive in 2013 or 2014 >>>> the marginal prospects being mentioned.

                Or at the very least, you hold out for better prospects.

                • Norm

                  So then get the prospect in a trade and sign a guy like Ryan Ludwick.
                  Soriano isn’t a difference maker in being a competitive and non-competitive team.

          • Holden

            Yes, I would take a chance on keeping Sori right now. I like the guys we have in our system that are at the C level. I agree with you that the more of those guys we can add the better we are. Yet, if we are just going to get one of those guys, NONE of them are worth 18 million over the next two years. At the very least, Sori’s power helps the Rizzo development, maybe the Jackson development too.

            • whiteflag

              That’s a hard decision. While Soriano is much more valuable than any of those guys right now; he is 37. Is it worth trading him off a non-contender for a chance to strike future gold? I’m not sure given the unreliability of a C level prospect. I’m leaning toward keeping Soriano around, if it takes him and money to get a C level prospect. I find him to be more valuable than that. Good veteran presence and a solid power. However, I wouldn’t be too upset if the FO gambled on a similar trade.

              • Bric

                Sori’s 37 if you read the official bio. But the scouts and management from all of the other teams aren’t that stupid. At least at this point there isn’t that much difference between 37 and 40ish.

            • willis

              Right, there are plenty of “C” guys that won’t amount to much at the major league level. So why pawn Soriano off to get more of the same. I was as sour as anyone on him in the past, but I’d much rather see him kept around to help this lineup than go pay for him to play somewhere while getting just another whatever in return. The return needs to be somewhat high for all that the other team will be getting-basically two years of a cost controlled, power hitter who’s coming off 30 bombs.

          • Jade

            I would hope we could get more of a Vizcaino type for Sori, especially if we eat a ton of salary.

  • Robert

    Ludwick? But I wouldn’t really like him..

    • Holden

      Ludwick’s looking for something in the two year 14 mil range, if we want him we will have to overpay in terms of year or dollars, i.e something like 2 years 17 mil. That puts right back to wear we started paying 36 million in salary for LF over the next 2 years and the only thing we netted is arguably a lottery ticket in a c level prospect.

  • Dustin

    I wish we would sign Ludwick or maybe even a Jason Bay for a bounce back season

    • Justin

      I know the Cub’s have been linked to Bay, but only for the right price. I wouldn’t mind him for a bounce back season, but would rather have Cubs wait to see if they can get Bourn or a better player then Bay.

  • Walter Sobchak

    If the price is right and we get decent returns on both players it would free up more money as well even after eating A LOT of the contracts on the Cubs end……two players I like for plug ins and reasonable contracts are Mark Reynolds @ 3rd and Ludwick for Left or right…….

    • CM

      I am actually pretty surprised the Cubs haven’t been mentioned in on Ludwick. I think he’d be perfect for this team.

  • mister_rob

    It would cost more to eat half of sori’s salary and sign ludwick then it would to just keep sori

    If they trade sori, they better acquire one good OFer that will be here longer than 1 yr. Otherwise we will have more holes next winter than we did this winter

  • clark addison

    If the best we can get for Soriano is a C or C+ prospect, then we ought to keep him. Otherwise, everybody pitches around Rizzo. No other pop in the lineup.

  • BluBlud

    I wonder what the Rangers would think if we offer them Garza, Soriano(We pay all the contract) and Vitters for Mike Olt, Julio Borbon and a prospect..

    • BluBlud

      Maybe Roman Mendez, a guy Theo signed in Bos.

    • THEOlogical

      They would say…Next! Even if your just overvaluing our guys, they’d probably be overvaluing theirs as well. They know what a commodity like Olt would net on the market and it’s not a 37 yr old hitter with a pitcher who hasn’t pitched after having arm issues and one yr left on his contract. I’d love to have Olt but please stop beating a dead horse, he did nothing to deserve it lol.

      • BluBlud

        If they are considering Olt straight up for Garza, then they would actually be winning the rest of the deal. Soriano and Vitters for Borbon and Mendez. This would fill their pitching need, give them an outfield of Soriano, Nelson Cruz and Hamilton(if he resigns) and a utility infielder for this and a guy who can replace Beltre when he’s gone in Vitters.

        It would give us our Center Fielder, Borbon, who can be pretty good if given a chance to play everyday. He has plenty of speed. We would also get a much needed bullpen arm who we can eventually stretch out to be a starter.

        Its a win/win for every one.

  • dan

    At this point we have to keep Sori unless we get a top prospect there is no one else out there to take his place uness Volenbaugh can pay left

  • Walter Sobchak

    Its about selling high…….to get a c+ prospect for Soriano would be a dream right now when you compare his value to last year at this time…….chances are is that he does not put up last years numbers again…..and with those numbers we still lossed 101 games…..I would tend to believe that his value is never gonna b higher….and signing a Ludwick would give us above average offense in the outfield…..and perhaps take a flyer on bay for the other spot…..noone is blocking anyone and if Jackson ever becomes ready you remove the weak link…..Dejesus will be an easy flip at the deadline especially if he puts up last years numbers in center with average defense and that would open up the only spot Jackson is gonna be able to play to be a plus thought of performer.

    • whiteflag

      Are the ellipses trying to make a return?

  • ZachCubs82

    I heard that the Reds are close to resigning Ludwick, and I also read that the Phillies are interested in a trade for Soriano. I heard Vance Worley and a prospect for Sori, that is if we eat a large portion of Sori’s contract. I would probably take that deal, I think Worley has potential.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Grilli deal almost ready……..agent has not revealed team…..I like him for the Cubs but I don’t want him for 2-3 years @ 6 million plus a year…..thats money not spent well (in my opinion)

  • Jeff

    The Cubs are rumored to be interested in Jason Bay…. Problem with him is the last three years he has really played below par.

  • Cedlandrum

    I understand the need for patience, but the last two years, the waiting for signings for the Major league team have been brutal. Its like waking up for Christmas and having used crappy toys. Yeah Jason Bay and Ryan Ludwick. Oh what fun.

  • BluBlud

    Luke or Brett, if the Rangers were to trade for Upton and re-sign Hamilton, whats the chance you think we could get Borbon, even without the trade I mentioned above.

  • Troy

    I personally don’t think Soriano will be traded. Marmol will be gone no doubt. But Soriano stays until Soler is ready 2015

  • Fastball

    If all we are going to get is a 8, 9, or 10 type player for Sori than I say we keep him. At this point that is not good enough. We have a 30HR 100 RBI veteran. He is hard as hell to find. The Cubs have money so I don’t buy that as a reason for casting him off. He has a full no trade clause. I doubt he is going to allow himself to be traded but to a select few teams. If the trading partner isn’t sending something exceptional back in return for him he may still reject the trade. A guy like Sori won’t take kindly to being part of a trade for some 8, 9, or 10 prospect. It’s going to have to be a Soler or Almora level prospect or a deal doesn’t happen. I say keep him til this next off season and trade him then. The cost of the trade is half and he will still get one of those 8, 9 or 10 prospects. You can’t leave Rizzo unprotected in the lineup all year. He will never see a pitch to hit and will be looking at breaking balls all year. Sori’s value to this team in 2013 is far more than he will have anywhere else so we have to put a very high premium on that value. If someone wants him they have to pry him from this organization. They may say well he isn’t that valuable. We say well he is to us and if you want him show me the money.

    • hookersorcake

      “We have a 30HR 100 RBI veteran. He is hard as hell to find.”

      We, know, it took us 4 years to find it in Soriano…
      Last off season we couldn’t give Soriano away for a used merkin, now he’s the heart and soul of the team. Listen the Cubs aren’t going to give him away for a C+ prospect. Theo & Co are not stupid.
      Soriano is 37 on bad knees, legs gone and missed an average of 33 games a year with the Cubs until only missing 12 last year. Last year was his best in the last 4. The odds of him repeating and being healthy and not losing a massive amount of value is a Huge gamble. If we can get a Vizcaino type prospect or a solid B prospect, not a B-
      You do that deal every time.

  • Fastball

    Jason Bay hit pretty damned good in Wrigley Field when with the Pirates. I would sign both him and Ludwick. We could have an outfield of Soriano, Bay, DeJesus, Ludwick, Sappelt. Put all those other guys at AAA and let them figure out how to get better this season. If Bay and Ludwick have nice seasons we can flip them. Bay isn’t going to break the bank and neither is Ludwig.

  • Fastball

    I want to keep Marmol for all the same reason I want to keep Soriano. I think it’s stupid to trade Marmol and get some marginal prospect back for a guy who closes games in the Majors. If we were going to get a Haren for Marmol any trade has to be equal to that in my opinion. Haren just got $13M and that’s what the market was willing to bare. That just made Marmol’s value go up. I say you keep Marmol til the deadline at least. If he is doing well in the first half his value will be much higher than it is now. We simply cannot entrust our 9th inning to this unproven guy from Japan. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the Major Leagues. If Theo makes the move to trade Marmol before this Fuji throws a pitch that just a bad bad decision in my book.

    • willis

      I completely agree with your points regarding both of these guys. Some good value coming back? Then yes, take a serious look, but just dumping to dump? I’m sick of the salary relief arguments, not to mention will eithe of these guys really net mutliple prospects that have a legit shot at being solid MLB players? This organization aleady has plenty of that.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    ross would be better fit imo… but i still think we trade marmol, soriano,and cash to phillies for prospects, phillies wont sit by an watch atl. an wash. make moves……I believe they will be a and aa players though. Watch for a platoon of stewart and pos. reynolds at 3b if we dont add a 3b in a trade.

  • http://bleachernation frank hutch

    We re just prolonging the inevitable 110 loss season. Is it 2014 yet?

    • Cody Wainscott

      I don’t see how you can predict they will lose 110 games next year but want it to be 2014 They won’t be as bad as last season; not with more experienced players and a better (I didn’t say good) rotation.

      • cRAaZYHORSE

        Speculation – I think the Cubs Are better than last year but a 110 loss season is closer than one suspects.

        Baker gets hurt Tommy John part 2.Scott Feldman bombs. Soriano injures a hammy , Marmol needs 12 pitches per batter to get one out or give a walk away. Rizzo sophmore slump. Barney loses his gold glove . The Cubs play three Catchers. The ASTROS ARE IN THE WEST AL.