In one fell swoop, the Chicago Cubs today severed ties (mostly) with two of the most polarizing players on the roster in recent memory. Declining reliever Carlos Marmol was designated for assignment, and AAA third baseman Ian Stewart was released.
Marmol is in the final year of an improvident extension inked under the Jim Hendry regime, and has been struggling all season long. His stay as the closer this year lasted but a couple weeks, and he has found only moderate success even in low leverage situations. Without the ability to trade him for anything resembling value, the Cubs today elected to clear up a roster spot by DFA’ing Marmol. The team will now have 10 days to trade, release, or waive Marmol. It’s possible a minor deal can be worked out with the Cubs receiving virtually nothing in return. It’s possible he’ll be released. It’s possible he’ll be waived, but there’s no chance he’ll be claimed with his contract. Either way, it looks like Marmol’s days with the Cubs, after some procedural steps, are over.
I’ll have much more on Marmol as the DFA process plays out. After the smoke has cleared, I’ll also have some thoughts on his days with the Cubs, which were mostly brighter than they were dark.
As for Stewart, the release marks the end of an awkward saga that saw Stewart unable to play for the big team this year, and unable to perform at AAA. He griped about the organization’s moves on Twitter, was suspended, and has now been released. His 10-game, without pay suspension was upheld under appeal, so the Cubs will save about $100,000 in the process. He’ll likely now latch on with another organization.
In Marmol’s place, the Cubs have called up outfielder Brian Bogusevic, who has been raking at AAA Iowa, and will now be a big lefty bat off of the bench – at least until David DeJesus is ready to return.