The Marlins signed veteran reliever Carlos Marmol to a one-year, $1.25 million free agent contract this offseason with the hope that he might provide good value in a setup role. That experiment is already over.
According to beat writer Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Marmol was designated for assignment on Sunday morning — meaning he is no longer a member of the Marlins’ 40-man roster and will either be traded, released, or outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans within the next 10 days. A trade is unlikely.
Marmol allowed four earned runs in Saturday night’s 9-3 loss to the Padres, pushing his season ERA to 8.10. He walked 10 batters and yielded 16 hits in 13 1/3 total innings for Miami.
“Couldn’t get people out,” Marmol acknowledged to reporters late Saturday night. “I did the best I could, but it didn’t work out good. It’s tough. You try to do your best and it didn’t work out.”
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”