The Cubs and Carlos Marmol have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.125 million deal that splits the difference between their competing demands.
Marmol stunk on ice as the setup guy last year, but once he took over for Kevin Gregg as closer in August he stopped hitting as many guys and throwing the ball all over the place and started to look a lot more like the dominant force he was in 2008. Assuming he keeps it under control this year he and his relatively unhittable stuff should be one of baseball’s better closers this year, both in an absolute and a dollar-for-dollar sense.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.