From the Wire … Cubs Agree to Terms on a Three-Year Deal with Carlos Marmol

As expected, Carlos Marmol agreed to terms on a three-year deal on Monday. The Cubs and Marmol avoided arbitration with a deal believed to be in the $20 million range. Marmol’s new three-year contract buys out his last two years of arbitration eligibility and his first year of free agency.

Marmol’s new contract is expected to be announced on Monday.

Updated 1:33pm C.T.- According to multiple reports, Marmol’s deal is believed to be worth $20 million for three years.

Updated 1:55pm C.T. – Marmol’s contract includes a limited no-trade clause and is backloaded. Marmol will earn $3.2 million in 2011, $7 million in 2012 and $9.8 million in 2013. Total value, $20 million.

Carlos Marmol is in the second year of arbitration eligibility. Marmol submitted a $5.65 million figure for 2011 and the Cubs countered with $4.1 million. Marmol earned $2.125 million last year and he earned an additional $100,000 for finishing 70 games ($50,000 for finishing 55 games and $50,000 for finishing 60 games).

Marmol posted a 2-3 record with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 2010 with an unbelievable 138 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings. Marmol set a record by averaging 16 strikeouts per nine innings.

In his first full season as the Cubs closer, Marmol pitched in 77 games (finished 70) and notched 38 saves (38-for-43 in save opportunities).

Carlos Marmol has arguably been the best reliever for the Cubs the last three seasons … with Sean Marshall coming in a close second last year. Marmol has dominating stuff and when his slider is on, he is unhittable. Marmol must work on his consistency, cut down his walks (52 in 77 2/3) and hit batsmen (eight in 2010, 12 in 2009).

Carlos Marmol’s Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Neil, completely agree if Marmol shows better control he could easily be the best reliever in baseball.

    • paulcatanese

      Patrick,I agree with you and Neil on Marmol and there is no doubt that he would be the best in baseball,even over that guy who throws for the Yankees. Cubs made a smart move to tie Marmol up. One of the better ones they have made in a while.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    OMG I can not think of another 3 years of heart failure when Marmol takes the mound. Please let someone teach this kid some control or we are going to have to replace Quade by july when he retires for health reasons.

    • Tony_Hall

      If you like we could get a consistent thrower who isn’t as effective! Marmol is one of the best closers in the game. He is nasty! No one wants to face him and look foolish at the plate. Part of his effectiveness, comes from his style.

      I can tell you this, I wouldn’t want to try and hit his slider…even if I knew it was coming.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Didn’t say you didn’t want him just that he needs to learn control I can’t take the stress of not knowing which Marmol is going to show up.

        • Tony_Hall

          It can be stressful, I will give you that, but have you ever watched a team over the course of season, and they are a highly competitive team, and it not be stressful..

          I am all for having more stressful games to watch of the Cubs, lately, there really hasn’t been all that much.

  • PleaseStopLosing

    Don’t get me wrong… I am thrilled we locked in Carlos for 3 more years. He is wonderful and I love watching him pitch when he is throwing it well.

    BUT… I am so sick of these backloaded contracts… The one thing I look forward to is the day when these crappy contracts get off the books and we have the flexability to sign a few great players to fill the gaps that our farm system doesn’t look to have in store for us… i.e.–a First Baseman. Waiting to get rid of Byrd, Fuku, Sori, ARam, Demp, Z and replace with young guys from our farm and a couple big FA signings for what we actually need…

    Instead of paying our bills now and letting those contracts come off the books so we can come into that period as strong as possible with a lot of spare dollars to spend; we decide to backload our contracts making our players untradeable to too expensive to allow us to spend elsewhere.

    Marmol signed 3 years, 20 mill. Great– pay him 6.6 million each year for 3 years and go from there…

    Pena signed 1 year for 10 million. Great– pay the man his 10 million this year and go from there… Why in the world defer 5 million dollars to other years when he wont even be ON OUR TEAM?!?!?!?
    (That virtually means whoever our first baseman is will be costing us 5mil more than we actually pay him) And I can gurantee something will happen by then where our management says….”Well we don’t have the money to sign _______ or _______ because we still have so much money on the books going to Marmol’s 9.8 million and Pena’s 5 million.”

    I already see that coming… “Well we can’t trade Marmol because he is owed 9.8 million for 2013 and teams wont take on that kind of money…”

    I just hate our management and ownership because they seem clueless on handling small details like that.

    I am thrilled we signed Marmol… Just pay his damn salary as we owe it each year and go with that… Don’t defer money and tie us down for a bigger burden in years to come when we should be contending for titles…

    • Tony_Hall

      You have to be realistic. This wasn’t a FA acquistion that was back-loaded, this was an arbitration eligible player that has salaries matching his estimated cost in each year. Yes it is a back-loaded, that is JH’s style, but most, if not all, contracts of players in controlled years, are done this way.

      Really not trying to defend JH’s style.

      • cubs1967

        the contract is BS………..Ricketts needs to stop crying poor and end the backloaded contracts…or they are gonna go on forever.
        this could of beent the first one not to have this backloaded BS.

        damn…………1st f&()^&)^&)&) day of spring training……….and I’m already pissed off bucuz we have frick and frack running the organization.

        SOS w/ this team…………103 f&^&)^&)& years…………no f&***&&)(*&)( championship!!!

      • PleaseStopLosing

        That is realistic… Not to get into detail, but a basic premise of economics is $1 today is worth more than $1 in the future (Based on inflation and the ability to invest and get a return on the money you have now). Marmol would have gladly taken all the money up front from the whole contract (or else he is completely clueless to financials) if we would have let him. So your argument about how the salary matches his estimated cost isn’t relevant. The point is– now Ricketts will have an excuse 3 years from today about how we can’t sign _______ because we have too high of payroll and Marmol’s 9.8 mill will be a big part of that.

        And where is the justification on the backloading Pena’s contract to pay him when he is on another team? He also did this I believe with many of our “untradeable contracts” we currently have on the team.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t like Pena’s contract…3 years to pay for 1 year of service.

        • paulcatanese

          I think you are trying to mix apples and oranges here. You cannot compare the contract that Marmol signed and the one that Pena signed.Marmol is home grown and will be here with his talent and has the correct contract. Pena is the opposite of that. I agree with you there and they should not have signed him that way,if at all. Who knows, out of the blue Pena may hit 40 and drive in125 Ha!! Then the #### will hit the fan after the year is over.

    • John_CC

      Completely agree with you PSL. You took the rant right out of my mouth! Thank you for that. I loathe this style of contract.

      • Tony_Hall

        John_CC, PSL, and Cubs 1967

        I agree that back loading contracts is bad in free agency. But not when signing a controlled player to a contract. This contract saves a lot of money, compared to going year by year.

        I am sure you guys know Cot’s contracts – here is the website if you don’t.

        http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/chicago-cubs_112114177768677294.html

        Please look around, team by team, and look at the players that have been given contracts, during their controlled years, you will have a hard time finding contracts,that are spread equally. I would not be surprised if you found none.

        This contract is below what each year would have cost the Cubs.

        Marmol would have won his arbitration case this year.

        I don’t even think Jimbo (in his post below) is that high, when saying on the open market, Marmol would have been paid $40-$45M over 3 years.

        This is one of the good ones…there are plenty of other contracts that don’t make sense, but this one does. I only wish JH would have done it a year earlier, as it would have been, an even more, team-friendly deal.

        • John_CC

          I agree with most of this Tony. Marmol certainly would have cashed in on the open market, no doubt. I am familiar with Cot’s and enjoy digging through other team’s contracts, usually in hopes to not feel so bad about some of the Cubs. What saves the Cubs money versus going year by year is simply the 3 year agreement, the back-loading has nothing to do with it. Sure, maybe in 2013 after Marmol has compiled 110 saves $9 whatever million will seem like a bargain, but who knows? I know what would like a better bargain, $6.7 million.

          But it isn’t even about what seems like a better deal. It is the fact that $6.7 million is a great bargain for Marmol each year for the next three, and that that is not too much money for this team to pay each year for Marmol and NOT be potentially handcuffing the salary AGAIN down the road. That is my problem. A little more than 6 and half million bucks is this year – a savings of 3.5M$ in 2011 – is not worth tinkering with the uncertainty of future payroll needs i.e. a big time 1B that will cost big time money.

          • Tony_Hall

            I hear ya, an evenly spread contract is great, but for FA’s, I would like to see teams start to do a declining contract, that is front-loaded, as most FA contracts are bad by the end of them.

            Marmol at $9.8M in 2013, is only going to be bad, IF (there’s that awful word again) his arm falls off. If he is healthy, he will be worth much, much more.

            Also remember, JH is using this discount (from Marmol’s $5.65M arbitration request, and/or the midpoint – $4.875) to help pay for Garza, still. He always intended on doing this with Marmol. Once again, if he had approached Marmol last off-season, these numbers would be much, much less. That is why I always say, they need to identify the keepers, the guys they are wanting past their controlled years and then give them a contract that buys out arbitration, and early FA years. The sooner you do this, especially while the player is still on league minimum years, the better the discount.

            I would be giving Castro a contract. this year, if he continues hitting like last year, or next off-season. The savings will be huge, and most if not all players will take the deal, since they are only be paid league minimum.

          • John_CC

            Absolutely Tony! I know that I posted something like this a year ago, wondering if anyone ever does that. It makes so too much sense!

  • Cheryl

    A good deal for both, but I hope Marmol starts showing more consistency. When he’s hot, he’s hot. But you never know which Marmol will come into a game – the one that can’t throw a strike or the one that’s dynamite.

  • Tony_Hall

    I must give credit here to JH. This is a deal that I like to see happen.

    Keeping a difference maker, that is home grown and getting his contract at a discount. I expected this deal to be closer to $23M. These are all discounts off of what Marmol would have made in arbitration and ultimately FA. That is why this is a win/win for everyone. Marmol gets his guaranteed pay, and the team will save money every year of the deal. The only thing I would have like to see, was a team option for 2014.

    • JimBo C

      If Marmol was on the open market a 3-year deal would have gotten him 40 to 45 million. I for one am glad he will be in Cubbie blue for the next three years making opposing hitters look silly.

  • jw

    If he gets injured or loses that nasty slider or the tenative grip on his control anything over one year is a significant problem. If he harnesses the control keeps the slider and stays healthy and consistent you’d wish the contract was for 7 years at these numbers…overall I think this is a move that is worth the risk.

  • Dorasaga

    Two issues, I’ll remind all. I know fans are tired of “backloaded Soriano-type” of contract, but in real baseball, Marmol is worth more than 20 M for three years. Both I and Tony Hall once analyzed this situation:

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/02/cubsrumors02031_1.php#comment-140187395

    http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/02/cubsrumors02031_1.php#comment-140382128

    The Cubs got a bargain, 2 or 3 millions less than projected.

    Then there’s the issue of Marmol’s control.

    As much as I would love to see Marmol adjust and not giving that many free passes, I don’t know if Senior Nasty’s change of approach will garner an equally effective strikeout rate (and consequently, out of jam ability).

    Think Marmol as Nolan Ryan. If Ryan didn’t go all out for the strikeouts, he might be able to place more control. But then, he might not, and Ryan could have never become that greatest strikeout pitcher in history, and he might not have learned that well a control ANYWAY.

    Marmol worked his sliders on the corner. He “paints” them in the strike zone where batters know it’s coming, but nothing they can do about. Sometime, Marmol worked too fine on his sliders, and just not catch the corners.

    I don’t know if he changed his approach and improved his control, his slider would be as effective. Of course, we don’t know yet, but I’m just saying there’s always two ways we can think about this.

    • paulcatanese

      You know, I agree with you and Tony and I cannot think of any negative part of the way Marmol pitches. I had mentioned earlier a week or so ao that he paints the corners and is going to miss here and there. Whats the difference? He gets out of most jams more often than not, and no one is perfect. I would rather sit and squirm when he comes in than have someone I know will give it away. I would take my chances with him every time.As far as his contract goes it’s a steal for the Cubs, the best one they have put out there in a long time. The fact that he’s home grown even makes it better. Tony is right, on the free market he wold be worth a lot more. Everyone just take a tums when he comes out and relax,either way he’s the best they have had in a long time.

      • Tony_Hall

        Thanks Paul! I disagree with alot of moves that JH has done, but I can’t figure out how anyone could not like this deal!