Cubs Pull Reported Deal with Angels Off Table … and Other News and Notes

It is unclear at this point what happened, but the Cubs pulled the deal off the table late in the process that would have sent Carlos Marmol to the Angels for Dan Haren.

According to the Sun-Times, “a deal was close enough that Marmol was asked to waive his limited no-trade rights and consented to be traded to the Angels.” Marmol told several outlets in the Dominican Republic that he had in fact been traded.

Some pointed to health concerns with Dan Haren as the reason the Cubs backed out of the deal. Haren missed time with lower-back tightness last season and there was a significant drop in velocity when he returned.

The Angels declined the option on Dan Haren shortly after the deadline and paid the right-hander a $3.5 million buyout. Haren is now a free agent.

Free agency officially began at 11:01pm CDT on Friday night. It should be just the beginning of an interesting off-season for the Cubs and throughout baseball.

Zach Putnam
The Cubs claimed right-handed reliever Zach Putnam off waivers from the Rockies on Friday afternoon. Putnam was added to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 33 players. Putnam has limited big league experience but has pitched well at the big end of a minor league bullpen.

Baseball America ranked Putnam as the tenth best prospect in the Indians system prior to the 2012 season. Colorado received Putnam from the Indians for Kevin Slowey in January of 2012.

According to Baseball America, Putnam features a fastball in the 90-93 mph range and can touch 95. Putnam also throws an above-average splitter that helps him miss bats and keep the ball on the ground. Putnam has struggled with right handed hitters due to a below average slider. Baseball America projects him as a middle reliever.

Zach Putnam gives the Cubs another option out of the pen.

News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs are believed to have interest in free agent Shaun Marcum. Speculation has existed for weeks that the Cubs could target Marcum and that would be a viable option due to Marcum’s relationship with Chris Bosio.

Passes for the 28th Annual Cubs Convention go on sale Wednesday, November 7 at 10:00am CDT.

According to a report from Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs are one of several teams with varying interest in right hander Scott Baker. Baker last pitched in the Majors in 2011 with the Twins and missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Baker may not be ready when the season begins according to Morosi’s report. Baker is 63-48 in 163 big league games, 159 starts, with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.

Teams can begin signing minor league free agents on Saturday.

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Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • Tony_Hall

    Looking over the FA list, you can see that free agency is not what it use to be. The best young players get extended by their teams or traded for prospects.

    If this was the year, that a team had finally cleared payroll and were intent on rebuilding quickly through FA, and adding in the big names…well, let’s just say this would not be a good year for that. But if you are looking for some solid players or role players, there are plenty of those. Mid tier SP’s and back end of the rotation guys are out there to be had. The question will be with most teams having money to spend, what will the cost of these guys be on the open market.

    Keith Law just released his Top 50 free agent list.

    The best FA on the market….Zack Grienke.

    #2, with his 298 OBP…..BJ Upton

    #3 with all his baggage….Josh Hamilton

    The top 10 doesn’t look like it should be the Top 10. Most of them have issues that would make you question signing them to the big money that is needed for the Top FA’s every year.

    Here are some of the lines that describe the TOP 10 Free Agents.

    “He is young enough to maintain those skills for the next five years, but he needs to find a workable middle ground between his swing-at-everything approach of 2012 and the more patient approach he had earlier in his career.”

    “He has some more 2010-like stretches in him, but I doubt he plays 150 games in any one season again. Since he’s an old 31 already, I’d be loath to go beyond three years.”

    “The one concern I have with Bourn is that so much of his value is tied up in his legs, rather than his eyes or his bat. He is one major leg injury or a series of smaller ones away from losing the value he contributes on defense and on the bases.”

    “If he loses another grade off his fastball, he’ll drop to fifth-starter territory or worse.”

    “I’d be wary of his history of shoulder trouble even with the recent durability, but otherwise he is a worthy candidate for a high-salary, three-year deal.”

    ” Players with this passive approach tend not to age well into their 30s, but his power and ability to hit from both sides make him attractive on a three-year deal, where he’d probably still be a league-average right fielder when it’s over.”

    Makes you want to go out and buy up these guys….

  • Neil

    Cubs officially activated Matt Garza, Ian Stewart and Aroyds Vizcaino from 60 day DL. 40-man Roster now at 36 players.

  • Tom U

    With the near miss of last night’s trade, there was some question as to where the Cubs would seek their next closer. Here is a look at some of the internal options:

    Toward the end of last season, the coaching staff had some favorable comments on Jaye Chapman. Their recent waiver claim, Zach Putman, would also be in consideration.

    At Iowa, veteran Jairo Asencio has performed well in the DWL, recording 3 saves already, while another vet, Esmailin Caridad is having a rebirth in the LMP. Michael Bowden, who had a start last night in the DWL, has also been used in the closer capacity in the past.

    In a sort of limbo between Triple-A and Double-A are Frank Batista and Kevin Rhoderick. Batista has led the system the past two years in saves. Rhoderick has been arguably the Cubs’ most impressive pitcher is the AFL, and is among the leaders of relief pitchers in strikeouts.

    Tennessee flamethrower Tony Zych was named to the AFL Futures squad, but still allows far too many hits to be reliable at this time. Zych has also not found a way to turn his 100 MPH stuff into strikeouts.

    The organization also appears to be fast-tracking three 2012 draftees, Justin Amlung, Michael Heesch, and Eduardo Orozco. Expect to see one of these pitchers in Daytona in 2013.

    The Cubs also have two deep prospects in a pair of 20-year olds, Alvido Jimenez and Jin-Young Kim.

    • Tony_Hall

      I can’t say that much there says closer for 2013.

      I would think we would need to buy either an ex-closer, looking to get that chance again, or a set-up guy who wants his 1st opportunity to be the closer if we end up trading Marmol.

  • paulcatanese

    Seems as though it worked out for the best regarding the Marmol trade.
    But am I missing something here? I thought the Cubs were intersted in moving Marmol,and looked as it would take place.
    Was the only reason the deal was pulled off the table was that Marmol leaked it? If so, I don’t understand why that would cancel
    it by the Cubs.
    To work out for the best as Rip said, keep Marmol and go after Haren under free agency.

    • Tony_Hall

      We may never know the reason why the Cubs pulled out of the deal, but Marmol leaking it wasn’t the reason, just the reason we knew so much about it last night.

      Signing Haren now would be nice and still getting to trade off Marmol even better.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yanks need Marmol. He would succeed there.

        • SuzyS

          Mariano just said he wants to come back. Soriano was given a qualifying offer (13.3 mil).
          Although he’ll probably hit the open market in search of a multi-year deal.
          If Marmol goes to the Yanks…it will be later in the offseason if their need is really established.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Rivera makes such a good tutor. Kerry Wood learned a few things from him….or maybe that cutter just finished off Kerry’s arm? Whatever….Marmol would be a nice fit in Yankee pinstripes. Remember their pitching coach is Rothschild.

          • SuzyS

            I don’t disagree…Rothschild could be a double edged sword for Marmol.
            If that trade were to happen….what would you look for in return from the Yankees???

  • Ripsnorter1

    Haren is a free agent now. It is a whole lot better for us. Keep Marmol and sign Haren, if you are inclined to think that he’s healthy.

  • Jim Haley

    Keeping Marmol is a plus. Good thinking Ripsnorter.

  • BD

    Having a stud closer on a 100 loss team doesn’t seem practical. Granted Marmol had a down year, he still has an electric arm and a proven track record of being able to get hitters out. If they can get any type of value for him they should do it.

    If they were to trade Marmol. What do you think about Joakim Soria as a potential replacement? He seems to fit the Theo/Hoyer criteria. Coming off injury, 1 year deal, cheap, looking to reestablish himself. He was dominate in Kansas City for years before his injury.