Cubs, Marmol Close To Long-Term Deal

FEBRUARY 13TH: The deal is expected to be for three years and worth around $23MM, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

12:54pm: Marmol's agent, Barry Praver, arrived at Fitch Park in Arizona today to finalize a multiyear deal for the closer, tweets Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The contract extension is expected to be announced Monday, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 3RD: The Cubs are close to signing closer Carlos Marmol to a long-term contract extension, according to Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan of the Chicago Tribune.  The new deal is expected to be announced before Cubs pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona on February 13th.

The deal would buy out Marmol's remaining two years of arbitration eligibility for 2011 and '12 and perhaps lock him up beyond that.  The righty had asked for $5.65MM in arbitration with the Cubs countering at $4.1MM.  Marmol is the Cubs' final remaining arbitration-eligible player, as our Arbitration Tracker shows.

Marmol, 28, is coming off an excellent season in which he posted a 2.55 ERA and a whopping 16.0 K/9 en route to 38 saves.  He gets it done with an extreme blend of strikeouts, walks, and flyballs.

71 Responses to Cubs, Marmol Close To Long-Term Deal Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Not surprised, if he cuts his walk numbers in half then he’d probably be easily considered baseball’s best closer after Mariano.

    • YourBase 4 years ago

      If he did that, he’d definitely be the best. Mo is the greatest reliever overall, but he’s old and he wasn’t even among the best last year. I would rather take Soria over him at this point to be honest, Marmol too.

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Some of Mo’s numbers went down last year and like the rest of non-yankee fans I’m waiting for age to kick in, but I’d still put him in the top 5, maybe top 3 closers in baseball.

        As for Marmol, I’d say last year he definitely must of hit most people’s top 5 closers list. His H/9 and K/9 rates were awesome. But I’m sorry, conventional wisdom suggests his BB/9 rate will come back to bite him.

      • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

        You need to start watching Yankees game friend

    • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

      I agree. He is a K machine. on a side note I just checked the Cubs website and apparently they have a BIG 3 rotation…..huh I thought it was more like a big 2. Since when does Carlos Zambrano qualify as a big pitcher anymore?

    • He should be already. He was .4 WAR better than the next best reliever (3.1 to Brian Wilson’s 2.7)

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      Marmol already has a career batting average against of .174. If he cuts his walks in half he’ll be considered Jesus Christ. For comparison, Mariano Rivera’s career BAA is .210.

  2. vtadave 4 years ago

    4/34 sounds about right.

  3. Carlos has dirty dirty stuff. It wouldn’t be far off to say that he has the best stuff in the majors right now. If he could harness it and get his control down he would be almost impossible to hit because he is very tough to hit now and his control is average at best.

    • PJaysW 4 years ago

      There are lots of guys with nasty stuff but with control problems worse than Marmol’s. I’m sorry I just really hate to crown anyone the best at anything when how it is measured can be called into question. Good relief pitcher, no doubt.

      • It can be measured to a certain extent with 16 K/9. That is down right nasty. I agree “dirty stuff” is partially up to interpretation but his K/9 points down the right road.

  4. YouCannnnnPutItOnTheBoard 4 years ago

    Here’s to hoping he finds the signature portion of the contract better than he finds the plate.

  5. pastlives 4 years ago

    this is a guy i’ve REALLY wanted to see pitch but haven’t had a chance (being a Jays fan). his K/9 and H/9 numbers are just off the charts. The walks are a clear issue, but this guy seems pretty much untouchable.

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      It’s pretty fun watching him pitch. He makes really good hitters look silly with that slider.

    • MB923 4 years ago

      I visited Wrigley for the first time ever last year and he closed it out against the Braves.

  6. His walks are an obvious problem but I believe part of how untouchable he is and how high his k/9 is party related to how wild he is. If he cuts down the walks I think it will almost equal out because his K’s will go down and his WHIP might stay about the same with people getting more hits off of him. It is just one theory but I would like to see him cut down his walks and see what does happen.

  7. Mauerneau 4 years ago

    Never seen him pitch live, but I love watching cubs highlights on Sportscenter and seeing Marmol walk the bases loaded, then get the next three guys in order. I swear he has made someone shat their pants with that slider. If he can get ahead in the count more this year, the kid will be one of the best closers in the game.

    • Agreed, you don’t see too many guys hit him hard if they even do make contact. Hitters aren’t the only ones shatting their pants either, us cub fans need a new pair after he walks the first 2 or 3 guys lol.

  8. danthebaseballman 4 years ago

    Good closer. This would be a nice move the cubs.

  9. daveineg 4 years ago

    Marmol’s slider is so nasty, it’s hard to believe he’s not putting extreme strain on his arm that will eventually catch up to him. It usually does with guys who’s stuff is so extraordinary.

    • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

      Agreed. Hopefully the new pitching coach can work with him in smoothing out his mechanics. His current violent delivery is not built for the long haul.
      If he learns just a little more control and composure, he could easily be the most dominant closer for years to come. He stuff is that good, but comparing him to Mo Riveria is embarrassing.

  10. i think these people mean his stuff is as good.

  11. BlueCatuli 4 years ago

    He never had a chance to save more than 15 games. If he had closed in 2009 the Cubs would have made a serious run at the division or wild card. Kevin Gregg was awful.

    • Kevin Gregg IS* awful

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        it’s a shame too because the Orioles have a pretty good team now.. they won’t be better then third with Gregg closing games.. besides the signing a Derek Lee they improved alot… Vlady will help alot too

  12. Wrek305 4 years ago

    this is honestly a bad move they are going nowhere for 3-5 yrs for one.. they finally have a real pitching coach who will be able to teach him control and how to pitch .. they could get alot for him in July … he’s their only player who could bring back a ML player right now..

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      You are delusional. Stop watching baseball, because you have no idea what is going on.

  13. does anybody know what kind of money/years the cubs are talking about with Marmol?

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Three Years in the $22MM to $25MM range. They’re trying to buy out one year of free agency and all of the arbitration years. If he puts up similar numbers again, $7MM per year would be pretty reasonable at arbitration or in free agency.

  14. Cody 4 years ago

    If he could cut down the walks he would be one of the best in the game. That 16 Ks per 9 is crazy. Its just he can walk them loaded than strike them all out. This deal would have been a no brainer without those fly balls and walks.

  15. Lawschoolsucks 4 years ago

    Marmol was lights out last yr but I don’t think I’m going to like this move. Closers are fickle creatures.

  16. PhnxCrew 4 years ago

    long term deals to closers always work out great…. not. It is the cubs though, they need to start stock piling more terrible contracts as they’re finally going to start shedding some next year.

    • cachhubguy 4 years ago

      When guys like Scott Linebrink get 4 year deals for $16 million, I wouldn’t call a 3 year, 22 Million deal for Marmol a bad deal.

    • jb226 4 years ago

      Three years, oh no! The sky is falling! Quick, take a jab at the Cubs before it is too late!

      Please. It’s a reasonable deal just on its own merits, and even moreso when you consider how mediocre the Cubs bullpen was last year and exactly how badly that cost them. No team in baseball, regardless of league, division or overall record, lost more one-run games than the Cubs. Only four teams played more. A strong bullpen is an absolute must going forward, and locking up key pieces to that success to reasonable deals is important.

  17. Muggi 4 years ago

    3/22 for Marmol…writing’s on the wall. The days of $10m+ for any but the most elite closers are over.

  18. MB923 4 years ago

    I can’t believe he has more BB’s allowed than hits

    385 innings, 235 hits, 252 walks, but an amazing 500 K’s also

  19. MrSativa 4 years ago

    Killer slider and a wobbling fastball. Can he repeat last year’s performance? Hendry sure does have a terrible track record with long term contracts. Perhaps the J.P.Ricciardi of the National League?

    • cachhubguy 4 years ago

      Again, how is 3 years a “long term” contract? What is a wobbling fastball? He throws 94-95 mph.

  20. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    If Joe Nathan and Papelbon bounce back they are as good as anyone, K-Rod is great as well. But even though I am a Sox fan I must agree Rivera is just too damn solid. I would feel much better trotting him out in a playoff game than almost any other relief pitcher doing it right now. Marmols potential is scary but “at times” so is his command.

  21. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Kinda makes me wonder, how many of his strikeouts were swinging strikeouts? For that matter, what was the percentage of the strikes Marmol threw were swinging strikes to pitches outside the zone?

    I really do wonder if the strategy against him would truly be better to just stand there and try your luck at walking. It’s not like you can really hope to get an extra base hit from him, opponents slugged less than .200 against him last year.

  22. jayrig5 4 years ago

    Marmol struck out 138 in 77.2 innings. He struck out something like 60+ percent of batters faced. He was ridiculous. He walked some, yes, but in almost 18 more innings than Rivera, he gave up just one more hit (40 hits vs 39). 16 K/9. He was basically un-hittable, and last year, his walks actually fell from a career high 7.9/9 IP to 6.0.

  23. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    The thing working for Marmol that counters his walk allowed is the fact that his batting average against is insane

  24. I agree. I would also like to see the stats batters have on him in a 3-0,3-1,2-0 count against 0-2,1-2,0-1 count.

  25. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    I’m not knocking Marmol in any way. He is a beast. I just would take Mo hands down in any big game situation. Mo pitches in the AL East, I have a feeling Marmol would find himself with lots more walks and much fewer K’s.

  26. phoenix2042 4 years ago

    oh that’s good. only 6 walks per nine! he’s practically cliff lee out there!

  27. pastlives 4 years ago

    you can find that on baseball reference

  28. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Stats from baseball-reference, using the after pitch count.
    3-0 count: 29 PA, 20 BB, 3 K
    3-1 count: 47 PA, 27 BB, 12 K
    2-0 count: 61 PA, 29 BB, 7 K
    0-2 count: 86 PA, 1 BB, 61 K
    1-2 count: 111 PA, 9 BB, 69 K
    0-1 count: 175 PA, 10 BB, 92 K

    Well all I can really say from this data is if Marmol falls behind against you, put your bat on your shoulder. But I’d really like to find some record of swinging strikeouts. In other words is it really in the best interest of the hitter to just wait and see.

  29. Craig Cutler 4 years ago

    That is DEFINITELY the worst spelling of the word I’ve ever seen.

  30. CooperMurray16 4 years ago

    Carlos Silva is DEFINITELY are 4th best pitcher at best. Dempster is our ace and then Garza and Zambrano are 2 and 3. How are you gonna say that Silva is the ace? He had one good half of a year. The second half of the year he sucked. Dempster is by far the most reliable, Garza puts up good numbers, and Zambrano’s second half numbers were off the chart good.

  31. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    Welcome to the worst spelled word club

  32. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Well if he was pitching for the Orioles or Jays it’s possible his walk rate would go up. Over the last couple of years 3 of the top 5 teams best at drawing walks have been the Red Sox, Rays, and yanks.

  33. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    I completely disagree sorry. The AL East is stacked with powerful, patient lineups with DH’s. Take away pinch hitters and pitchers and replace it with full season DH’s in lineups that are all pretty much stacked. His stuff is tremendous but I think his walks would have a noticeable increase.

  34. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Well you lost me, not hard to do at 2 AM.

  35. I agree with you to a certain point. If he could locate his fastball constantly I would completely agree with you but he has a very tough time doing that. The AL East is a totally different division then any other division in baseball hitting wise. I am pretty sure he wouldn’t fair as well in the AL East as he has in the NL Central, but he would still be a very very solid closer that any team would want to have. With that being said if you put him in the AL East I would expect him to adapt to the league and get away from a couple of habits he has formed in the NL and he would be a dominant close if he ever was to come to the AL East.

  36. Those stats are quite incredible but what is really astonishing is the 0-1 count numbers. Even if you fall behind 0-1, which doesn’t seem bad, you are in pretty big trouble.

  37. MB923 4 years ago

    Whoever the batter was that had an 0-2 count and drew a walk, props to him haha

  38. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    Wow, 0-2 count and your screwed and either 3-0 and 3-1 count might as well be sitting for something you can hit or try to take the walk

  39. Tim Valencia 4 years ago

    Marmol doesnt deserve this. Yeah he has crazy stuff but before you crown him above MO or Woilson or even Heath bell look at his conversion, his HBP and of course his WHIP. Its not on par with the elites at closing.
    Yeah you can speculate “if he cuts his BB rate in half” yeah and if i double my fastball speed I would be in he pros. Ifs arent how you should give our contracts.

    Is he good?yes Is he Elite? Will this be a bad contract later on? of course, its the cubs

  40. BlueCatuli 4 years ago

    I could be wrong but I believe it was a game against the Braves.

  41. jayrig5 4 years ago

    His slider is so ridiculous that when it’s 0-2, you can’t really protect the plate. If it looks like a strike and you swing, you won’t put it in play. If it doesn’t look like a strike and you take it, it’ll probably be strike three.

    And again, with Marmol, when he falls behind too much, he normally doesn’t give in; he’ll walk a guy to face the next one with a fresh count, because he knows he has a better than 60 percent chance of striking him out. And in 2010 the next batter had a .147 chance of getting a hit, and since out of the 40 hits he gave up last year, only 29 were singles, why would he pitch to a batter that he falls behind? So he throws a 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 slider, the batter takes it, goes to first, and Marmol strikes the next two guys out. It wasn’t a control problem last year. He just pitched to his strengths, and played the percentages. It was the most consistent season I’ve seen, largely because of that approach.

  42. Tim Valencia 4 years ago

    Ii respect your opiniopn but I disagree, I admit when it comes to pure stuff marmol might be the best in the majors. No where in my post did i say he didnt have great swing and miss stuff.

    I can argue that while we overvalue walks you might overvalue strikeouts.
    Is ERA+ too biased of a stat for you?

    Rivera 205+
    Marmol 144+
    Paps 209

    The guy has wesome stuff but he scares the crap put of me, If i were the cubs i would try and get highest value for him before he causes everyone to crap themselves everytime he steps on the mound

  43. Tim Valencia 4 years ago

    I am saying he is good, but he is not underrated, if aything he is overrated. Giving him a huge extension is not intelligent.

    His K rate is ridiculous i will give you that but its a sexy stat but doesnt account for wins or overall save ability. I once again go back to heath bell, plays on a less talented team, with less spectacular stuff, less respect, but still consistently outperforms

    Injuries, declining abilities aside, the Cubs have much more pressing need than to overpay for an overall good but not elite closer Top 10-15 yes top 4. No

    Just look at it from this standpoint, can you honestly state that he is better than the following 8? If anything he is right in with Paps Lidge and others in that late 10 range


    If anything he is right in with Paps Lidge and others in that late 10 range. All I am saying is he is not worth the money they are going to pay him

  44. Wrek305 4 years ago


  45. Wrek305 4 years ago

    Wilson is not that good.. Bell was garbage on the Mets now he’s an all star.. he won’t last either..Papalbon is crap too

  46. Jntg4 4 years ago

    Why would a closer be facing a pitcher anyway?

  47. Bob George 4 years ago

    “Carlos Silva is DEFINITELY are 4th best pitcher at best.”

    When are they going to start teaching grammar in school again?

  48. jayrig5 4 years ago

    Okay. Take away his 6 walks, and in return, take away 8 K’s. He’d be striking out 8 a game without walking anyone. Would that impress you? Yes, of course, and that’s almost the equivalent. I’m not arguing that he has pinpoint control. But you don’t strike out 138 in 77 IP without walking people. My main point is that he’s un-hittable. As I said, he struck out like 60 percent of all batters he faced. So he walked 52 and gave up 40 hits. I’d absolutely rather he gave up a walk than a hit, especially knowing the chances are so great that he’ll get a strikeout.

    From 2009 to 2010, he pitched 3.2 more innings, gave up 3 fewer hits, walked 13 fewer, and struck out 45 more.

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