carlos marmol yesWhen embattled Chicago Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol was designated for assignment last week, it seemed like simply the first stop on the way to Release Town. Sure, it gave the Cubs 10 days to release, waive, or trade Marmol, but a trade seemed a virtual impossibility given Marmol’s performance woes this year.

Well, a report from Bruce Levine shakes its fist at we of little faith. Two sources tell Levine that the Cubs are “closing in on a trade” that would send Marmol to the Dodgers.

Keep in mind, the return from the Dodgers – if this deal goes down – will simply be enough to buy them the first right to grab Marmol, since the Cubs otherwise would have released him (allowing him to sign with any team he wanted, rather than only the Dodgers). So there’s a teeny, tiny bit of value there, if the Dodgers think they can reclaim Marmol – and they do need bullpen help.

Levine adds that Marmol’s limited no-trade clause allows him to block deals to six teams, and that the Dodgers are one of those teams (makes sense, given that the Angels were also on the list, as we learned in the offseason). If Marmol believes he’ll be given a legitimate shot in Los Angeles to stick in the pen, I suspect he won’t block the deal.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one, but I’d still keep my hopes in check. There is no healthy Dan Haren on the other end of this trade.

UPDATE: Well, Peter Gammons seems to think this is happening, saying that Bruce Levine is “right again.”

UPDATE 2 (5:03pm CT): Jon Heyman confirms that the two teams have talked about Marmol, but there’s nothing official yet. He suspects the move might save the Cubs a little money, which is what you should be hoping for at this point.

UPDATE 3 (5:05pm CT): Carrie Muskat says the Cubs aren’t commenting.

UPDATE 4 (5:40pm CT): Patrick Mooney confirms that a deal is close, and that the Cubs won’t be getting anything but a little bit of salary relief.

UPDATE 5 (6:58pm CT): writer Ken Gurnick says that if a deal goes through, the Cubs will be picking up “most, if not all” of the $5 million left on Marmol’s deal. He says the Cubs would be getting a player recently removed from the Dodgers’ roster – i.e., someone DFA’d like Marmol. In the last few days, the Dodgers have designed infielder Luis Cruz and reliever Matt Guerrier for assignment, so there’s your short list. They both fall into the maybe-not-even-worth-a-roster-spot category, which sounds about right. The Cubs might be figuring that, since each guy has had past success as a complementary piece, maybe they can take a hail mary at reclaiming some value in the next 30 days. It’s a stretch, obviously.

UPDATE 6 (8:10pm CT): Theo Epstein is on Dave Kaplan’s new show on WGN Radio tonight, and he just said that, yeah, a deal might be in the works involving Marmol and getting him a change of scenery. But, if it does happen, it isn’t going to be a significant deal.

  • King Jeff

    I would be surprised if the Cubs didn’t have to pay his salary to get anything back for him.

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    WOW; sweet, I hope they eat the rest of his contract, too!

  • nkniacc13

    They get something its better than nothing

    • Rcleven

      Salary relief. Yes better than nothing. Don’t expect any type of player in return.

  • Crockett

    Cubs pay 5m for a B prospect? Yes.

    But more than likely it’s a D prospect and the Dodgers assume the 5m.

  • North Side Irish

    “It’s unknown which player or players the Dodgers would send to Chicago.”…plural?

    • someday…2015?

      Ill take a Campana like return. A couple of lottery tickets for Marmol would make me very happy!

      • Crockett

        Maybe a block of international pool money?

        • cms0101

          I wouldn’t think so, only because the Dodgers will be spending in the international market too.

  • JoeyCollins

    The Dodgers initial offer was for 25 million in salary relief, but MLB would not allow the deal since Marmol doesn’t make that much money. The Dodgers are currently in a state of confusion how anyone in the MLB can possibly make less than that. At last report the Dodgers were in serious discussion with the A’s on how to properly write a check with less than 7 zeros.

    • DReese

      Hahaha… awesome

  • @murdiddlyurdler

    Luis Cruz?

    • nkniacc13

      If they trade him for one or the 2 players the Dodgers DFA gotta think that it shows that cubs have no faith in any of their AAA bullpen pitchers to take spots when the dealing begins

  • Mick

    There never was a healthy Dan Haren on the other end of a Carlos Marmol trade.

  • Norm

    Hopefully not a bad contract swap.

    • Featherstone

      In return we get Andre Either.

      Just typing that made me cringe.

  • X the Cubs fan

    Andre Eithier??

    • Carew

      If the dodgers pay for it all

  • DarthHater

    Okay, some douchenozzle on Twitter is rumoring Marmol for Puig. Guy should be slapped. Repeatedly.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Does he also have the Dodgers eating Puig’s contract? Or Zach Lee as a throw-in?

      • DarthHater

        No, we’re waiting for Die hard to show up with that one.

        • TWC

          Dodgers to make Marmol a starter. Guaranteed 15 wins a year for next 5 years.

          • DarthHater

            Curses! Foiled again! Damn you Die hard!!!

      • DarthHater

        Best Twitter response so far: I would trade Marmol for a Puig baseball card!

    • North Side Irish

      Was it Jon Greenberg? Because he posted something like that, but he’s just being a smart ass

      • DarthHater

        No, it’s just some guy. But who knows where he picked it up from.

  • Cyranojoe

    What a fun trade rumor season it’s been this year!!!

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Or an injured Carl Crawford.

  • louis


  • King Jeff

    I find it hilarious that the Dodgers cut Kevin Gregg in spring training, and are now so desperate that they are willing to trade for Marmol three months later.

    • Rich H

      yep we ended up trading them worthless closers and fixed the one we got in return. Pretty funny stuff.

    • Ash

      Not only that, but the reason the didn’t want Gregg was because they gave a sh*t ton to Brandon League. For the uninitiated, Brandon League is the Dodger’s version of Carlos Marmol. Now the Dodgers may want Marmol? Oooooooh good for them.

  • Chris Lattier

    could it be for recently DFA’d Matt Guerrier? I’m hoping for prospects…

  • nkniacc13

    next step after July 2 international signing day is to DFA Camp

    • cms0101

      Why wait. Cut him now. Camp is awful. And he wasn’t as good as people seem to remember last year. He pitched a lot. Most of the time, not very well, especially toward the end of last season.

  • North Side Irish

    Dodgers are on Marmol’s No Trade List…it’s always gotta be something.

    • DarthHater

      S’okay. He already approved a trade to the Angels. No reason to assume he wouldn’t approve the Dodgers at this point in his career.

      • Sandberg

        That was when the choice was Angels vs. Cubs. Now the choice is Dodgers vs. free agency.

    • Rich H

      If he does not waive his no trade rights after this he has the worse agent in the history of baseball.

      • Sandberg

        I’m confused. Why would he waive his no trade rights when he can wait 5 more days and go to whatever team he wants?

        • Ryan

          Because there is no guarantee a team would want him on a MLB roster.

          • dumbledoresacubsfan

            But if the Dodgers want him bad enough to trade for him, teams are showing interest.

            • King Jeff

              It’s looking like the Dodgers aren’t the only team that’s interested in trading for him, as crazy as that sounds.

            • Ryan

              Sure, but as Marmol your getting a spot on an MLB roster with the trade, as opposed to other teams possibly/maybe claiming you 5 days from now.

              Also, It’s not whatever team he wants; it’s whatever team claims him. And that’s if a team does claim him. They’d have to take on the full salary and that to me seems unlikely. It will be interesting to see how much the Dodgers take on financially.

              • Sandberg

                Maybe my understanding of the situation is flawed. As I understand it, in 5 days Marmol can refuse the assignment and become a free agent while getting paid his full remaining contract. After that, he can sign with anyone else (including the Dodgers). Why wouldn’t he let the bids come directly to him instead of the Cubs?

                Also, does he then get a new contract with the new team or does that come out of the money the Cubs pay?

                • Sandberg

                  By new contract, I mean additional money on top of his current contract. *shakes fist* at no edit

                • DarthHater

                  If he signs with another team as a free agent, then I think he gets the ML minimum salary from the new team and the Cubs are on the hook for the rest of his contractual salary.

        • nkniacc13

          but he may have to settle for a minor league deal if he clears waivers

  • nkniacc13

    Dodgers have to give up something im sure cubs may take salary relief and a campana return of 1 or 2 DSL kids for him

  • DarthHater
    • Cheese Chad

      I didn’t vote. I’m a bad fan.

  • Kyle

    Whatever salary relief we get is fine with me. Better than eating it all and getting some scrub prospect for the sake of saying we got a prospect.

    • Timmy

      We don’t need salary relief, we’re 50 million under projected payroll revenue!

      This isn’t Germany, we don’t need austerity measures, we need club leadership.

  • Joey

    Could be for Matt Guerrier, who the Dodgers just DFA’ed today

  • morgan

    for carl Crawford, id take that

  • DarthHater

    Has the Nightengale tweeted about this yet???

  • Tobias

    If people complain about the return for Marmol then I don’t know what will make them happy. People wanted Marmol out of town and they get their wish. Now, with the news of a Marmol trade then people are getting greedy.

  • florida Al

    for a bag of used baseballs

  • nkniacc13

    Could this have been the 50-50 trade Theo talked about yesterday?

  • Timmy

    Best case scenario, we grab Ethier or another baddish contract like Crawford at a decent rate and get some money back from the Dodgers, and we send them a mediocre minor leaguer.

    I love Crawford when he was younger, and Ethier has his moments, but those are admittedly two awful contracts.

    • DarthHater

      After this season, Crawford is still owed over $82 million, Ethier over $85 million. Cubs would not take on very much of that.

      • YourResidentJag

        I doubt they take on any of that.

    • Steve124

      We pay all of Crawford this year then $10 mil after and they take Marmol this year. This works out for both teams. We are going to end up picking someone like Crawford up this offseason anyways and it allows us to trade either Dejesus or Schierholtz with no regret.

    • Rebuilding

      There is absolutely NO chance we would take on either Crawford or Ethier’s contracts. Too long and too much money for either. And with respect to Crawford – do you think Theo would want that contract being brought up again and again?

      • Jason Powers

        Concur on the contracts.

        The Cubs have plenty of contract room for next season once they 86 2/5 of the pitching staff for prospects, Baker is a FA, and Marmol, as noted, is gone – via trade, or DFA route.

        Get prospects. Clear money. Let the offseason FA market shake out.

      • Timmy

        you’re probably right about this, but i don’t think it’s so bad if we end up paying an average of 12m a year for crawford or 9-10 for ethier. we’ll see, it’s more likely that we save a couple million off of marmol and empty their AA trash.

        • Rebuilding

          Crawford was actually pretty good when he was healthy earlier this year. But he’s 31, can’t stay healthy and is signed through 2018

          • Timmy

            yeah sounds like soriano #2 doesn’t it. he was so good so recently, though…

  • Adam

    LOL get ready for another month of Cubs “this trade has happened”, “wait its not going through”, “yes it is”, “no its not” to ultimately go through and then ultimately not go through.

    • gocatsgo2003

      So… the normal trade rumor mill season?

  • DarthHater

    Okay, this undoubtedly has something to do with the Marmol rumors… 😛

    • Internet Random

      Maybe it’s Braun’s blotter.

      • Hatfield

        Haha, if it’s Braun’s, then maybe they could somehow secretly dose Selig. I would love to see Bud deal with his demons on a head full.