The Chicago Cubs and Carlos Marmol are on the verge of agreeing to a multi-year deal that will take Marmol beyond his last two arbitration years, and his first year of free agent elgibility. The Chicago Tribune’s David Kaplan reported last night that the deal was close, and should be announced before next weekend when Pitchers and Catcher report to Mesa for Spring Training.
Marmol has requested a salary of $5.65 million for the 2011 season, and the Cubs came in with an offer of $4.1 million. As I mentioned above, the expectation is that the deal is going to be for three years, and likely around the $20MM-$24MM range. You would have to think that Marmol will probably earn around $5 million in 2011, and $6MM-$8MM for 2012 and 2013.
While there is no question that Carlos Marmol should be with the Cubs for many years to come, I can’t say that I am supporter the proposed deal that will be official next week. For one, I think paying $8 million for an inconsistent closer may be a bit much. Some of you are probably flipping out right now at my suggestion that Carlos Marmol is inconsistent, but let me explain why I am saying that about the Cubs closer.
The reason I say inconsistent is that as much as Marmol is dominant for the Cubs with his strikeout totals he is equally as dangerous to the Cubs because of his walk totals. Last season, Marmol issued 52 walks, which was 11 more than any other reliever in the major leagues had issued. The 52 walks for Marmol consummated into a BB/9 ratio of 6.03 for the Cubs closer. That percentage was the third highest among all relievers last season. The common joke among Cubs fans is that when Marmol comes in, he will walk the first three batters, and then strike the next three out.
Unless your name is Mariano Rivera, I commonly do not trust relievers enough to give them a long term deal. While three years is not considered to be a long term deal, there still is a risk involved with Marmol. As I have stated before with Marmol, he could be a ticking time bomb for when a major injury happens to his right elbow or shoulder. Marmol’s delivery consists of the dreaded inverted W. Meaning when Marmol is in his delivery there comes a point when his two shoulders look like an upside down w. This is normally a precursor for arm injuries, more specifically Tommy John Surgeries.
But, we can not ignore the fact that when Carlos Marmol is on, he is the most dominant closer in the game today. His 2010 strikeout total of 138 set a franchise record for relievers. Not to mention he led all relievers with a k/9 ratio of 15.99, and a WAR (Wins above replacement) of 3.1.
I think a deal of 3 years for $18MM would be ideal for the Cubs. Even if the deals winds up to be for at the most $24MM, it still would not be an all around bad deal for the Cubs.
The deal will be announced once Marmol reports to Mesa and takes a physical.