The Carlos Marmol rumors predictably kicked into gear on Tuesday shortly after Danny Knobler reported the Tigers would like to trade for a closer. Detroit is reportedly not pleased with the way Bruce Rondon has pitched this spring and the Tigers have limited options on their roster to fill the closer’s role. Carlos Marmol is available, and the Cubs have been interested in trading for Rick Porcello since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations. So could there be a fit?
Bruce Levine reported that the Tigers are among several teams taking a hard look at Carlos Marmol. Marmol is owed $9.8 million on the final season of the three year contract he signed in 2011. Levine reported that Marmol, who waived his no trade rights and approved a trade to the Angels in November, would accept a trade to a contender.
Reports on Tuesday night indicated the Tigers might consider using Rick Porcello in the closer’s role, but many feel that a team primed to make a run to the World Series would want an experienced closer on the roster.
The Sun-Times reported that there is nothing to the reports of trade interest in Carlos Marmol, especially with Detroit. The Cubs are not expecting to move Marmol until after the season begins, and according to the Sun-Times, probably at the trade deadline.
Dale Sveum is expected to announce the first round of spring roster cuts on Friday … and a second round of cuts middle of next week. The Cubs currently have 62 players on the spring roster, and Friday’s roster cuts are expected to be minimal with a larger number of players either re-assigned or optioned down to minor league camp next week.
According to multiple reports, Ian Stewart took “light ground balls” at third base, hit in the cage and did some light jogging on Tuesday. The Cubs are 10 days from the first deadline on Stewart and he is not expected to return until the middle of the month. If the Cubs decide to move on from Ian Stewart by March 16, they will owe him 1/6 of the $2 million contract he signed in the off-season. If Stewart remains in camp past March 16, the Cubs can still part ways before Opening Day and would owe him 1/4, or $500,000, of his contract.
Ian Stewart is hoping to get into a Cactus League game in one week.
Javier Baez is learning a lot in his first big league camp according to a report from the Sun-Times. Veterans such as Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney are teaching Baez a lot of things and if Baez does something wrong, the trio will tell him how to do it better.
Alfonso Soriano has become a mentor for Baez, and the 20-year old shortstop admitted he follows Soriano everywhere.
HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park
The Athletics announced on Tuesday they signed a 20-year agreement with the City of Mesa to train in Mesa beginning in 2015. HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park will receive a $20 million facelift next year after the Cubs move out. One of the renovations planned for HoHoKam Park is a new jumbotron.
Cubs News Bits
According to multiple reports, the top three spots in the Cubs rotation to begin the season are just about set. With Matt Garza not available until at least the middle of April, Dale Sveum said on Monday he will likely go with Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson and Scott Feldman to start the year.
Brian Bogusevic is this spring’s Joe Mather, well at least according to Dale Sveum. Bogusevic is the leading candidate for the fifth outfielder’s job on the Cubs’ roster. According to multiple reports, Sveum has liked what he’s seen from Bogusevic over the first 12 games of the Cactus League schedule.
Anthony Rizzo hit a home run in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. Rizzo and Team Italy are preparing for the start of the World Baseball Classic.
The Cubs will face either Team Japan or Team Chinese Taipei in the exhibition game at HoHoKam Park on March 15.
Alfonso Soriano is feeling good this spring, especially his legs, and he is surprised with how good his timing is so early in Spring Training.
Phil Rogers reported that the Tigers and Cubs have not discussed a trade involving Carlos Marmol … and there is no indication that Marmol is high on the Tigers’ list of available closer options. Rogers reported if the two teams end up discussing a Marmol for Rick Porcello trade, the talks could be expanded to include Alfonso Soriano.