Carlos Marmol Rumors
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a celebration of Mexican heritage, pride, and culture. The holiday traces its roots to the Battle of Puebla in 1862 where the undermanned Mexican army defeated the French, regarded as having the world's premier army at the time. More than 100 Mexican nationals have played Major League baseball, including Cardinals' lefty Jaime Garcia and Brewers' righty Marco Estrada. The pair squared off against each other at Miller Park this afternoon in the first-ever matchup between two Mexican-born starting pitchers on Cinco de Mayo and the 37th such meeting overall (per the Brewers via the Elias Sports Bureau). Garcia was masterful scattering eight hits across eight innings in the Cardinals' 10-1 victory. Estrada, meanwhile, channelled the French army allowing eight runs and six hits while issuing a career-high five walks (two with the bases loaded). Adding insult to injury, Chorizo lost the Sausage Race (h/t Adam McCalvy of MLB.com via Twitter). Por otras partes en béisbol:
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com believes Angels manager Mike Scioscia needs a fresh start and proposes the Dodgers as the most obvious possibility. Rosenthal notes owner Artie Moreno would recoil at the idea of Scioscia managing the crosstown rivals, but the Angels would be better for it if they could obtain a significant player or two in a John Farrell-style trade.
- Indians outfielder Michael Brantley hasn't heard anything about contract negotiations and that's by design, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. "Once the season starts, it's time for me to concentrate on baseball," Brantley said. "I don't need distractions like that. If my agents have anything going on, they'll get in touch with me."
- The Astros have dropped Erik Bedard from the starting rotation and need a starter for Friday's game against the Rangers. MLB.com's Brian McTaggart doesn't sense the Astros are in a rush to start the service clock of top prospect Jarred Cosart, who is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 27 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Cosart's next scheduled start is tomorrow night.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters, including Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, Carlos Marmol's status remains unchanged a day after he failed to retire any of the three batters he faced (two walks and one HBP). "Obviously he had a bad outing and couldn’t throw strikes," said Sveum. "Like I said he’s one of the seven guys, and he’s got to pitch, and we’ll get him back out there in some fashion. You can’t hide people. They have to pitch." Marmol pitched a perfect sixth inning today.
- Matt Garza will pitch his second minor league rehab start tomorrow for Triple-A Iowa, writes Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. Garza, number seven on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, is scheduled to throw three innings.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tells Andrew Kahn that his favorite scoop was his early reporting on the Angels' discussions with Albert Pujols. A tip of the cap to Metsblog for the link to the Rosenthal interview. Michael Baron discussed (and generally concurred with) Rosenthal's opinion that the Mets will not be contenders until at least 2015, in spite of the team's promising young arms. Here are a few more notes from around baseball:
- Reid Brignac says he is grateful to the Rays organization for sending him to the Rockies before spring training, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The infielder says that he "could see the signs right in front of me" that he was a longshot to make the Tampa Bay roster. With a full spring to prove himself, Brignac managed to make an infield-heavy Rockies opening day roster. While Brignac has only seen 42 plate appearances, and has slugged just .324 in his limited opportunities, he has been able to get on base at a .325 clip.
- Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart has been optioned to Triple-A, making his demotion official. Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-TImes quotes Cubs manager Dale Sveum as saying that Stewart is in the minors "as a triple A player now," with Cody Ransom and Luis Valbuena being the Cubbies' third base options. Stewart struggled mightily at the top level of the minors while rehabilitating a strained quad. Still just 28, Stewart has failed to return to the level he reached during his promising 2009-10 seasons, when he showed 20-home run power at a young age. Meanwhile, the Cubs still have little to show for their investment in the former first-round pick, who barely cleared the Mendoza line last year. In addition to paying Stewart over $4MM over the last two seasons (after non-tendering but re-signing him this offseason), the Cubs gave the Rockies Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu to acquire him.
- The notion that Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol can build up any trade value is preposterous, tweets David Kaplan of CSN Chicago. Marmol was yanked in the eighth inning today after allowing two walks and hitting a batter, which led to two runs to break open a tie ballgame. After today's implosion, Marmol has more walks than strikeouts after throwing 11 2/3 innings.
ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine held his weekly chat with fans today and discussed several topics about both Windy City teams, including these hot stove items...
- A source on the Tigers told Levine that the club wasn't interested in acquiring Carlos Marmol. Levine recently reported that Detroit was one of several teams who were looking at Marmol. There has been much speculation that the Tigers are looking for relief pitching to help their unsettled closing situation.
- There is currently "no movement" on the Marmol trade front. Levine doesn't think Marmol or Alfonso Soriano will be traded given the injuries that have hit the Cubs this spring.
- The Cubs are looking for extra pitching depth and a utilityman who can play both the infield and outfield.
- The White Sox will keep Gavin Floyd at least until July and perhaps beyond depending on where they are in the pennant race, Levine opines. Floyd was rumored to be on the trade block earlier this winter and could be the odd man out of the Sox rotation if John Danks is healthy.
- Earlier today on MLBTR, Ben Nicholson-Smith reviewed the White Sox offseason.
Top Cubs officials have told Carlos Marmol's representatives at Kinzer Management Group to expect a trade this season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. However, Marmol won't be going anywhere in the next couple of weeks, despite the increasing trade talk surrounding him.
Theo Epstein & Co. could look to move the closer once he presumably re-establishes his trade value this summer and Kyuji Fujikawa shows that he has adjusted to the majors. Some people in baseball have doubts about Marmol's ability to be the go-to guy in the ninth and one high-level evaluator for a contending team told Wittenmyer that he feels the veteran simply can't close.
Marmol, 30, is set to earn $9.8MM in the final year of his contract. Several teams have reportedly inquired on the veteran, including the Tigers.
Teams hoping to trade for Chase Headley will have to wait -- at least for a few months. Padres general manager Josh Byrnes told Peter Gammons of MLB Network that San Diego executives have worked hard to assemble an improved offensive team. “We're not breaking it up now," Byrnes said (Twitter links). As Gammons notes, it’s possible the Padres will re-consider their stance in July. Here are some notes from around MLB...
- Carlos Marmol’s name surfaced in trade talk this week, but said today that he expects to be with the Cubs all year despite the rumors. "I don't believe in anything," he said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he intends to keep managing as long as he can, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). "I'm not retiring, whether we win or we don't win," Leyland said. The 68-year-old obtained a one-year contract from the Tigers after leading the team to the World Series.
- Many of the teams expected to contend in 2013 are already facing significant questions, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com writes. The Tigers (closer), Cardinals (shortstop), Yankees (lineup), Rangers (rotation) and Dodgers (outfield) have issues to address this spring.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka can opt out of his deal with the Indians on March 26th, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
The Tigers will consider trading for a closer and Carlos Marmol of the Cubs is drawing interest, so there's a possible matchup on paper. Manager Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski have publicly downplayed the chances of a trade, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation. Here are some Tigers-related notes...
- One scout notes that Marmol has issues limiting walks, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. "Less control than [Al] Alburquerque," the scout said (Twitter link). Marmol has a career walk rate of 6.0 BB/9 in seven MLB seasons.
- Beck revisits recent trade rumors involving the Cubs and Tigers, pointing out that three of the four best-paid Cubs have been linked to the Tigers in trade rumors in the last 15 months. Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza and Marmol have all been connected to the Tigers on this site in the last year-plus.
- John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press argues that the Tigers don't need an experienced closer. Lowe notes that the closers for last year's National League division winners had a total of five career saves entering the 2012 season.
- Brennan Boesch is now healthy, so speculation about possible trades will resume, Lowe writes. Boesch doesn't have a clear role on the 2013 Tigers and could be dealt this spring.
Closer Carlos Marmol doesn't appear long for the Cubs and is likely to start the season elsewhere, writes Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. League sources say that several teams, including the Tigers, are taking a hard look at the reliever. Earlier today we learned that Detroit is actively trying to deal for a closer amidst concerns about rookie Bruce Rondon.
Marmol will earn nearly $10MM in the final year of his deal and can veto a trade to four West Coast clubs. One source says that Marmol would most likely waive that clause if it meant that he would be going to a contender.
Levine writes that the Cubs don't feel pressure to move Marmol but they would likely part with him for young pitching. Offseason acquisition Kyuji Fujikawa would step in as closer if Marmol is shipped elsewhere.
Recently, General Manager Jed Hoyer publicly asserted that Marmol would be the team's closer heading into this season. The Cubs nearly shipped the 30-year-old to the Angels in November for starter Dan Haren.
For that special baseball fan in your life, Valentine's Day means dressing up in an Expos throwback jersey and a fake mustache and glasses before hitting the town. Here's the latest from around the majors as Spring Training is almost in full swing...
- The Braves haven't talked to Jason Heyward about a long-term extension, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports. Heyward was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and agreed to a one-year, $3.65MM deal for 2013. Heyward is under team control through the 2015 season. Bowman thinks the Braves could also talk to Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman about multiyear deals before the season begins.
- Also from Bowman's story, Braves CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk said the organization is willing to spend to keep the team in contention for years to come. "Money is not going to stand between us and getting it done at this point because we are that close," McGuirk said. "I'm talking about [the] long term and short term. I'm talking about talent that is here and talent that isn't here."
- Carlos Marmol said he "was a little sad" when the Cubs tried to deal him to the Angels earlier this offseason, ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine writes. Marmol's contract expires after this season and the reliever said he wants to stay with the Cubs. Levine speculates that the Angels could revisit a Marmol deal since Ryan Madson will likely start the year on the disabled list.
- Bronson Arroyo is entering the final year of his Reds contract and the veteran realizes it could be his last year in Cincinnati, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. "When you have a team as we do, where everyone is coming into their own kind of at the same time, and add the fact we have a couple of monster deals already in place, it's going to be tough for me to stick around here if I have [a] successful season," Arroyo said.
- Given the time Reds GM Walt Jocketty is spending on Homer Bailey's contract, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer figures Bailey could be in line for a multiyear deal. The Reds have already signed two other arbitration-eligible pitchers (Mat Latos and Logan Ondrusek) to two-year extensions this offseason. Bailey is in his second year of arb eligibility.
- Kyle Lohse's landing spot is debated by Jeff Sullivan and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Lohse is expected to find a contact soon, though a number of teams linked to the right-hander are seemingly distancing themselves. Sullivan and Cameron suggest the Rangers, Mariners, Padres and Indians could all be fits for Lohse and the two weigh the costs of Lohse's projected value against the value of the draft pick that most teams would have to give up to sign him.
- Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch lists John Mozeliak's 10 best moves as Cardinals general manager. Mozeliak signed a new extension with the Cards today that will keep him with the team through the 2016 season.
Earlier today, Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer, manager Dale Sveum, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein all spoke with the Chicago media. Here's a look at some highlights with all links going to Twitter..
- Sveum told reporters, including Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, that the club expects to finalize a deal with Carlos Villanueva today. The hang up, he said, was over clearing a roster spot for the right-hander.
- However, Bruce Miles of ESPNChicago.com hears that the deal won't be inked today.
- The deal that would have sent Dan Haren to the Cubs for Carlos Marmol was never a completed deal and Hoyer doesn't understand why the word "botched" was used to describe it, Miles tweets. The trade, which was discussed before the Angels' deadline to exercise Haren's option, was initally reported to be agreed upon but was never finalized.
- Hoyer said that second baseman Darwin Barney is a part of their long term plans "for sure", tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. The Tigers inquired on the youngster last summer.
- Epstein said that if the club sees a can't miss position player available at the No. 2 spot in the draft, they may go that route and stockpile pitching later, tweets Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine opened up his latest online chat to reader proposals for trades that would send Justin Upton to the Cubs and Jason Kubel to the White Sox, which led to no shortage of creative ideas from fans. Amidst these plausible-to-very implausible trade proposals, Levine also shared a few hot stove items about both of Chicago's teams...
- The Blue Jays and Rangers have been Matt Garza's most ardent trade suitors and could again be interested in acquiring the right-hander if Garza shows he's in good health during Spring Training. I'd think that Texas might still be in the mix but Toronto's rotation seems set unless the Jays don't think Ricky Romero can return to form.
- If the Cubs have concerns that Garza won't be ready for Opening Day, Levine thinks the Cubs could try to sign a free agent starter like Shaun Marcum.
- Before the Cubs and Angels settled on the eventually-abandoned Carlos Marmol-for-Dan Haren trade, L.A. turned down the Cubs' offer of Marmol for Peter Bourjos and an infielder.
- The Cubs have "genuine concern about holding [their] fan base" given the team's recent struggles and rebuilding process, which Levine feels may have been the impetus for the Cubs' signing of Edwin Jackson and its pursuit of Anibal Sanchez.
- The Diamondbacks have interest in some White Sox prospects, which could be a hint towards a possible Kubel trade. We heard earlier this week that the Sox and D'Backs had discussed both Kubel and Upton in potential deals, though Kubel is the likelier of the two outfielders to be moved.
- While Gavin Floyd has again been the subject of trade rumors, Levine believes the White Sox won't look to deal Floyd until they're sure that John Danks is healthy.