Cubs, Marmol agree to three-year deal

BY Ken Rosenthal • February 14, 2011

Pitcher Carlos Marmol has agreed to a three-year, $20 million contract with Chicago Cubs, avoiding arbitration.

The Cubs announced the deal after their first workout for pitchers and catchers. Marmol will have a salary of $3.2 million this season, $7 million in 2012 and $9.8 million in 2013.

''I wanted to secure my life, my family, my career,'' he said.

In five seasons with the Cubs, Marmol has posted a 3.25 ERA with 500 strikeouts in 358 1/3 innings pitched.

The 28-year-old righty transitioned into the full-time closer role for the Cubs in 2010, racking up 38 saves in 43 chances to go along with a franchise-record 138 strikeouts in just 77 2/3 innings pitched. He averaged a Major League-record 15.99 strikeouts per nine innings in addition to a 2-3 record and 2.55 ERA last season.

''Great ones are hard to find. The numbers the kid put up,'' general manager Jim Hendry said.

Marmol sometimes makes it exciting. He has experienced bouts of wildness during his career in which he has trouble finding the plate, hits batters and uncorks wild pitches with a herky jerky motion. The hard-throwing right-hander has plunked 35 batters, thrown 22 wild pitches and walked 252 in 385 1-3 innings during his career.

But he is often able to recover with the strikeout.

''I never worry about my control,'' Marmol said. ''I worry about three outs before they score on me. You work hard. That's what you're looking for: work hard and get better every day. You never stop learning.''

Marmol was the team's only arbitration-eligible player still unsigned. The three-year deal means he will give up his first year of free agency. He has one more arbitration year, then would be eligible for free agency in 2013.

Marmol has made 316 major league appearances, all but 13 in relief. He was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 1999 as a catcher/outfielder and was converted to a pitcher in 2002.

He started 13 games in 2006 before heading to the bullpen the following season where he excelled as a setup reliever with a 5-1 record and 1.43 ERA in 59 appearances. He made the All-Star team as a reliever in 2008.

''I grew up in this organization. I feel very proud,'' Marmol said during a news conference.

Five players remain in arbitration, with hearings scheduled through Friday. Players and owners have split the two cases already decided, with Pittsburgh pitcher Ross Ohlendorf winning and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver losing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

share story