Carlos Marmol bummedIn early November, Carlos Marmol was traded to the Los Angeles Angels.

Well, kind of.

The Cubs and Angels agreed to a trade, and procured Marmol’s approval of the trade. The trade was subject to a usually perfunctory review of medical information. That review ultimately scuttled the deal, and Cubs Baseball President Theo Epstein had the unenviable task of telling the pitcher he’d just traded that the guy was still on the Cubs.

“It hurts when you think you are going somewhere and the next day they call you and say you are not traded,” Marmol told Bruce Levine after he arrived in Mesa. “That is hard for anybody. [Cubs president] Theo [Epstein] was great about it, telling me something happened that they didn’t expect to. He was very nice and calming because I was a little sad.”

Yeah. I expect that was an awkward conversation.

For his part, even though that trade fell through, Marmol isn’t sure where he’ll be when the season opens.

“I don’t know about that,” Marmol said. “They tried to trade me before. I hope I can stay here for the full year because it is hard to think about if you are going to be going somewhere else to pitch or not. I hope to stay here …. I don’t know where it stands for me. We will see what happens. I would like to stay here and sign for a couple more years. Right now I think we have a very good bullpen, and I would like to be a part of it all season.”

So, what happens now with Marmol?

Well, assuming his legal issues – which don’t sound like much at this point – don’t impact his trade value, I believe the Cubs will continue to shop him this Spring. Although he’s got a limited no-trade clause, he’s already accepted one trade, so there isn’t a reason to believe he’d block a trade at this time, despite his professed love for the Cubs. If he’s not in the long-term plans (and he’s almost certainly not), and if the Cubs aren’t going to be any good this year (and they’re almost certainly not), he’s likely to be content to move on. The only hold-up I can see from his end is if he’s going somewhere that he clearly wouldn’t be in line for any save opportunities (and the team is on his no-trade list (it’s only four teams, one of which is the Angels)). As a free agent after 2013, he’s going to want to pile up saves this year.

Will there be interest? Levine has always said there will be, but I’m not as convinced. If there are some injuries in bullpens around baseball, then definitely. But Marmol, despite his fantastic second half last year, is not viewed as a lock-down, sure-thing closer. Are teams going to go out of their way to acquire a guy like that in the Spring? Wouldn’t they be more likely to see what they can do with their own non-lock-down, non-sure-thing options in the first half, and then re-assess in July?

A lot of this depends on the Cubs’ asking price, of course. There’s a price at which the Cubs could move Marmol today, if they wanted. But I’m sure they’re expecting to get some value out of a Marmol trade, especially if they’re eating some of his $9.8 million 2013 salary.

  • Tom A.

    Marmol seems like a luxury that we may not need. I always liked him and hope he suceeds. Maybe if he was $3 million a year I would be suggesting that he stay with the team for all of his career. He simply is not worth $9.8 million per year.

  • Cubbie Blues

    For what it’s worth, Marmol won’t be getting very many save opportunities in Chicago anyway.

    • bbmoney

      Meh….they’ll probably win more games this year. And it’s not like they’re going to score a ton of runs, so most their wins will probably be close. So I think there will be a decent number of save chances out there for someone.

    • Cooper

      And as any fantasy baseball addict will tell you, even the worst teams generate saves.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Yeah, it was supposed to be a joke. maybe next time I’ll throw up a 😀

        • Danny Ballgame

          That would be perfect

  • Kirbs414

    Hey Brett – I know that players traded midseason are not tied to draft compensation, but what about players traded during spring training? Because if Marmol is tied to that compensation, couldn’t you argue his value would actually be higher midseason when he isn’t even though he is just a second half pick-up? Just wondering about the rule on that.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      A team would have to offer Marmol a one year deal at around 13-14 million for next season to get compensation. That would be a little high in my opinion.

      • JulioZuleta

        It’s definitely high, but it’s a possibility if everything goes right. Marmol could be forced to decide between 1 year/$13 or 3 years/$26 or something like that. It could feasibly come in to play. Maayyybbeeee ups his March trade value incrementally.

    • Stinky Pete

      I believe the cutoff is opening day. Players traded during ST are still tied to compensation.

    • Brett

      Compensation isn’t going to be an issue with Marmol, because, even if he’s lights out in 2013, I can’t imagine a scenario where he’s made a qualifying offer.

      That said, the cut-off is Opening Day. If a guy is traded before Opening Day, he can still be made a qualifying offer. Opening Day and beyond, no qualifying offer, and thus no draft pick compensation.

      • JulioZuleta

        Only way it could come in is if he has a great year, could likely get a 3 year deal on the market, and makes a handshake deal with the team to decline the offer. But at the same time, seeing how being tied to a draft pick has hurt guys the last couple years, I don’t think he would do that.

        • Brett

          Exactly on the latter thought. On the crazy chance he was offered it, I’m thinking he accepts after this year. Even after a great season, his market is much more in the two years and $18 to $20 million range than the three or four years and $30 to $40 million range. So, if someone offers him one year and $13.5 million (or more, depending on how much the figure climbs next year) for his age 31 season, I’m sure he takes it.

  • abe


    do you think he will have more value at the deadline (if he is pitching well) then he does now?

    • Kirbs414

      Hahaha, great minds think alike.

    • Brett

      He’s one of those atypical impending free agents for which, yes, I do think his trade value could be higher in July than it is now. It would require him to pitch well, and a couple of high profile injuries, though, probably.

    • Edwin

      Players generally have less value at the deadline due to there being less games left in the season, especially for “rented” players. I’d think Marmol would have less value at the deadline than at the start of the season.

      Still, there’s always the chance that a team might become desperate, and overvalue a player at deadline, but this probably happens less often than people think.

      If the Cubs can find a deal for Marmol now that they like, I think they’re better off taking that deal now instead of trying to wait and get a better deal later.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I don’t think Bosio gets enough credit for what he did with Marmol last season. Marmol was beyond bad the first two months. The last two months of the season, he was as good as any closer in baseball.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Totally agree! His fastball seemed to have some extra giddyup and he was throwing strikes. His stuff is nasty…maybe he has harnessed it?!

      If he comes out pitching like the end of last year, the Cubbies could net a nifty return.

      • TonyP

        If he comes out pitching like the end of last year, why not extend him for a 2-3 years. He is filthy when he is on…..

  • cubchymyst

    I really don’t like the line from marmol “…it is hard to think if you are going to somewhere else to pitch or not.” I hope when he is out there pitching his head is in the right place and wondering if it will be his last time pitching for the Cubs.

  • DPRagen

    I’m sure Marmol is a nice fellow. The problem is he can’t pitch. The solution is simple. Bite the bullet and release him. How could anyone who has seen him work possibly want him on their team? I don’t wish to be harsh but release him now before he ruins whatever hopes the Cubs have for the season!

    • Cubbie Blues

      R U 4 reelz wit dis?

    • Hookers or Cake

      Yeah we should trade him for that Honus Wagner fella!

      • Justen

        ^ Hookers.

        • Hookers or Cake

          Thank you for voting

    • TonyP

      DPR that is the most asinine comment ever made on BN….