Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Dodgers “are closing in on a trade” for Carlos Marmol, who was designated for assignment by the Cubs last week.
Marmol is owed about $5 million for the rest of this season, so presumably the Cubs have agreed to eat a significant portion of that money to either save a little something or get a minor leaguer in return for the impending free agent.
Marmol was horrible for the Cubs this season and has always gone through extremely frustrating stretches because of his incredibly bad control, but from 2007-2012 he posted a 2.90 ERA with the majors’ highest strikeout rate and lowest opponents’ batting average.
As a highly paid closer Marmol was mostly a mess, but as a bargain-bin middle reliever he’d certainly be worth a flier. Even this year, while struggling overall, he has 32 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.