Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol Drawing "Plenty of Interest"

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Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol Drawing “Plenty of Interest”

Chicago Cubs

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.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.