Chicago Cubs: Is Carlos Marmol Still On His Way Out?

By Randy Holt

The Chicago Cubs have already attempted to trade Carlos Marmol once this offseason. That failed, due to complications in their trade with the Los Angeles Angels, mainly stemming from health issues around Dan Haren, who the Cubs would have acquired in the deal.

That means that Marmol is still with the Cubs and still listed as the club’s closer for 2013. But the Cubs made some headlines this weekend when they signed Japanese product Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year deal. Given his potential to take the reigns from Marmol as closer, one has to wonder if the Cubs will try and shop Marmol again.

The answer to that question is probably an easy yes. They tried to trade him once, which means that the Cubs obviously don’t see Marmol as a part of this team’s future. They would also like to unload his contract, which runs through this season.

Marmol has shown flashes of brilliance in his time with the Cubs, but he’s also been riddled with inconsistency. He lost the closer job briefly last season, but was able to bounce back and post decent numbers, helping his value heading into the winter.

However, that impressive second half of the season likely won’t save him a spot with the Cubs. The rollercoaster that is a Marmol save opportunity has been running in Chicago for far too long. And it looks like the front office is finally ready to pull the plug, having signed Fujikawa.

The fact that the Cubs would have been able to pull a guy like Haren in a deal for Marmol tells you that there is still real value there. And though the Cubs need more help in the bullpen, not less, getting something in return for Marmol is an actual possibility.

Add that to the list of reasons that it looks like Carlos Marmol is on his way out of Chicago. The Cubs already tried to trade him once, and nearly did before the backed out. There’s almost no way they bring him back now. Look for his name to be thrown around at the Winter Meetings as quite a few teams are looking for bullpen help.

If Marmol does stick around and end up back with the Cubs in 2013, then a competition between him and Fujikawa would add a bit of intrigue to what most are already calling another lost season.

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