If the Chicago Cubs get Carlos Marmol to budge on his no-trade clause, the Dominican closer won’t be a part of the Cubs for much longer. During the off-season, a deal to trade Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels fell through, presumably because of Marmol’s reluctance to go out west. With the off-season acquisition of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa, coupled with Marmol’s recent personal disputes in the Dominican Republic, it doesn’t seem likely that Marmol will be with the Cubs long term.
Over the course of about four and a half seasons as the Cubs fulltime closer, Carlos Marmol has completed 115 saves out of 140 opportunities, good for a respectable percentage of 82%. His career ERA is alo very solid at 3.38, though his control issues manifest in far too many walks. Judging from the fact that the Cubs were willing to trade him in the off-season, and that 2013 is the final year of his contract, we will either see Marmol traded this season or simply not resigned. Trading is clearly a better option for the Chicago Cubs, who hope they can get something in return for the pitcher who has been with the Cubs organization for about a decade.
Kyuji Fujikawa has an astonishing 1.77 career ERA in Japan, along with a WHIP of 0.96 and 220 career saves. Although he probably won’t be able to match those extraordinary numbers in the MLB, previous Japanese imports have shown that pitchers seem to have at least an excellent first season in MLB, probably primarily due to hitters having a learning curve to figure out how to hit experienced pitchers they have never seen before.
Although Carlos Marmol has been a solid closer for the Chicago Cubs during his tenure in the bullpen, it seems like his time as a Cub is coming to a close. Whether or not Fujikawa will be as phenomenal in the MLB or not is pure speculation, but Cubs GM Theo Epstein and the Cubs obviously thought highly enough of the reliever to give him a shot with the two year deal worth almost ten million dollars. It seems unlikely that Fujikawa will wait long for his first save opportunity.