What will the Cubs and General Manager Jim Hendry do with Closer Carlos Marmol and Starter Matt Garza.
Marmol has emerged as a reliable and dependable closer. He has 2 years of arbitration left. Marmol is seeking $5.6 million for the 2011 MLB season, while the Cubs have offered $4.1 million. Will the 2 sides meet in the middle or will the case go to arbitration? Or could we see the 2 sides agree to a long-term deal that locks in Marmol as the Cubs closer for 3 or 4 years down the line. A 3-year, $20 million deal or a 4-year, $30 million deal could make both sides happy. The Cubs would get a little discount while Marmol would get some added security given the fact that he as averaged almost 80 appearances over the last 3 seasons. That is a lot of mileage on one pitcher’s arm.
The Cubs face a similar dilemma with Garza, although, Garza still has 3 years of arbitration left. Plus, Garza has yet to pitch in a Cubs uniform, so it might be nice to wait a year to make sure both sides are happy before entertaining long-term contract talks. Garza and the Cubs agreed upon a $5.9 million deal for the 2011 MLB schedule. If he keeps winning 15 games and racking up 200 innings pitched, he would likely command $10 million in 2012 and a little more than that in 2013 (his last 2 years of arbitration). Will the sides try to come to terms on a long-term 4-5 year deal? It would be in both sides’ best interests, but again, it will come down to dollars. I have a feeling that the Cubs will hold off on Garza until they see how he handles the pressure in Chicago where fans have long-suffered without a World Series title for way too long.
We’ll keep you posted on either front as soon as anything happens…