Following the seemingly-annual lull that accompanies Christmas and New Year’s, the rumor mill has begun to churn once again. More specifically, the market for relief pitching should pick up in the next month, with several low-risk, high-upside options available including Joel Hanrahan, Grant Balfour and Fernando Rodney.
Two former Cubs’ closers – Kyle Farnsworth and Carlos Marmol – are both on the open market to-date, and are rumored to be involved in talks with several teams.
Marmol, 31, is pitching in the Dominican Winter League, looking to re-establish his value after another down year that began with him as Chicago’s ninth-inning man and ended with him being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he pitched significantly better.
According to MLBTR, the right-hander posted a 4.41 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 7.3 BB/9, 1.29 HR/9 and 37.6 percent ground ball rate in a combined 49 innings of work between Los Angeles and Chicago last season. He made a total of 21 appearances for the Dodgers in the regular season and also pitched in two NLCS games, as well.
MLBTR reports that several teams are watching Marmol in the DWL and that he has discussed a Major League deal with three different teams.
Farnsworth, a soon-to-be 38-year-old right-hander, is looking to join up with a big league club – although MLBTR says nothing is “imminent” for the veteran. He pitched to the tune of a 4.70 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9 and 45.5 percent groundball rate in 38 1/3 innings with the Rays and Pirates.
He did, however, average 95.5 miles per hour on his fastball in September.