The Chicago Cubs will try to reach deals with 5 arbitration-eligible players this month — Closer Carlos Marmol, Top reliever Sean Marshall, lefty starter Tom Gorzelanny, and Catchers Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill.
The Cubs will likely give Marmol a mammoth raise. 2010 was his first season as the Cubs full-time closer right out of the gates, and he certainly delivered. Marmol racked up 38 saves with only 5 blown saves. He struck out 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings pitched – good for a 15.99 strikeouts-per-9-innings ration. That number set a major league record which was previously held by Eric Gagne who had a 14.98 ratio. Marmol is 28 years old and he made $575,000 in 2009 and $2,125,000 in 2010. He has 2 years left of arbitration before he can file for free agency, but will the Cubs try to lock him up with a long-term deal now during his prime?
Sean Marshall had his best year as a pro in 2010. His 80 appearances and 90 strikeouts were both career-highs. His 7 wins were also tied for his career-best. Marshall had a sparkling 2.65 ERA, giving up runs in only 14 of his 80 games pitched. Marshall also has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent and there is always talk that Marshall could return to work as a starter at some point in his career.
Tom Gorzelanny made 23 starts for the Cubs in 2010, going 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA. He earned $800,000 in 2010 and has 2 years left before he can become a free agent as well.
Geovany Soto is arbitration-eligible for the 1st time in his career. He had a solid season despite missing the final 2 weeks of the year after undergoing right shoulder surgery. Soto clubbed 17 HR’s with 53 RBI’s and made $575,000 in 2010 – his 3rd year as a pro.
Finally, Koyie Hill hit .214 in 77 games during the 2010 campaign. Hill is 31 years old and has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent.
The Cubs went to arbitration with a player for the 1st time in 17 years in February 2010. They won their case with former shortstop Ryan Theriot paying him just $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million that he requested.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs announce any deals with any of the above mentioned players…