Carlos Marmol and the Cubs come to terms

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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.

Report: Rays sign Brandon Lowe to six-year, $24 million contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.

Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.

MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.