Cubs cut struggling reliever Carlos Marmol
CHICAGO (AP) — The Cubs designated former All-Star Carlos Marmol for assignment on Tuesday, parting ways with the struggling reliever.
Chicago has 10 days to trade or release him or send him outright to the minors if he clears waivers. The 30-year-old Marmol was 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA in 31 appearances this season, striking out 32 while walking 21 batters.
“He did a good job in all the other roles besides closer (this year). There is something there that can still help people. Maybe a change of scenery will help,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
An All-Star as a setup man in 2008, Marmol became the team’s closer in late 2009 and compiled 117 saves, third on the Cubs’ all-time list. He was 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA in 483 appearances in parts of eight seasons with Chicago and is just the fifth player in franchise history with 20 or more saves in three straight seasons, along with Ryan Dempster, Randy Myers, Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter.
His best year as closer was 2010, when he finished with 38 saves in 43 chances. He posted a 2.55 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 52 walks that season and followed that up with 34 saves in 2011. But he blew 10 chances that year and posted a 4.01 ERA.
Fans’ patience with him started to wear out, and he was booed at Wrigley Field in recent years. It was clear management was ready to part ways, too.
The Cubs had a deal in place that would have sent Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels for Dan Haren last winter, but that fell through. They also signed Kyuji Fujikawa, a longtime closer in Japan, but like Marmol, he struggled. He also sustained a season-ending elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs’ closer now is Kevin Gregg, the man Marmol replaced in 2009. Gregg has converted all 11 save opportunities after signing a minor league deal with Chicago in April.
“Marmol was very professional through all of this. Held himself very accountable, very professional when we let him go this morning. I talked to him on the phone. He thanked us and everything,” Sveum said.
Besides cutting Marmol, the Cubs released third baseman Ian Stewart, who had been at Triple-A Iowa. He was suspended two weeks earlier for criticizing the organization on Twitter.
The Cubs also selected the contract of outfielder Brian Bogusevic from Iowa on Tuesday. He was batting .319 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 78 games with Iowa.