Dodgers acquire Carlos Marmol from Cubs for Matt Guerrier

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In a swap of relievers who were designated for assignment, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs have traded Carlos Marmol and about $200,000 in international signing bonus money to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier.

Marmol certainly has a lot more upside than Guerrier, who’s been little more than middle relief-caliber since signing a three-year, $12 million deal with the Dodgers two-and-a-half seasons ago. This year Guerrier had a 4.80 ERA and 21/12 K/BB ratio in 30 innings. Of course, Guerrier is also much less likely to completely implode on the mound, which Marmol has done far too often this season.

On the other hand, even while struggling overall this season Marmol racked up 32 strikeouts in 28 innings, posting a double-digit strikeout rate for the eighth consecutive season, and from 2007-2012 he posted a 2.90 ERA with the majors’ highest strikeout rate and lowest opponents’ batting average. If the Dodgers can get him to go from “worst control of all time” to merely “really, really bad control” he’s still capable of overpowering hitters.

Chicago’s move to unload Marmol comes just minutes after the Cubs traded Scott Feldman to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and about $400,000 in international bonus money.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.