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Cubs rumors: Marmol won't be traded before the season, but he will be traded

The Chicago Cubs have already prepared their closer for a trade. The team has told Carlos Marmol to expect a deal to happen, just not before the season starts.

Mike Stobe

What is Carlos Marmol's trade value exactly? No one can answer that for sure, but the Chicago Cubs will soon find out. While rumors have been swirling about a possible trade before the season even begins, the Cubs do not plan to trade Marmol until sometime during the regular season. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the team has even told Marmol's agent to expect a trade.

Marmol is set to make $9.8 million this season, far more than the Cubs would like to pay for his services. While the former All-Star has shown some flashes of greatness, he has fallen short of expectations. Now, Chicago is hoping he can build some trade value as the season ramps up. The team will also need to prep Marmol's likely replacement, Kyuji Fujikawa.

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Despite the rumors, and the outright proclamation the Cubs have made to Marmol's agent, he is trying not to concern himself with trade talks.

‘‘I can't make the decision. The boss guy makes that decision. I can't worry about that. The only thing I have to worry about is to be ready every time they give me the ball.''

Marmol has limited no-trade power, but the Cubs seem ready to work with teams to which Marmol can't block a trade. For Marmol's part, he has given Chicago a list of five teams he'd like to be traded to, says Wittenmyer. Unfortunately for both Marmol and the Cubs, interest in the 30-year old may be at an all-time low. Executives that Wittenmyer spoke with have indicated that the general thought is Marmol can't close.

Spring training stats seem to prove that. In 3 2/3 innings, Marmol has given up four hits, four walks, and three runs. That's not the type of line you'd like to see from a closer facing generally minor league players in spring training. This is why the Cubs won't be trading him before the season begins. There's simply not much interest.

Marmol was signed by the Cubs out of the Dominican Republic back in 1999. He has been with them ever since. In his seven-year career, Marmol has 115 saves and a 3.38 ERA. He posted a 3.42 ERA while blowing only three saves last season, but his 2011 season still hangs over him like a dark rain cloud. In 2011, Marmol posted a 4.01 ERA and blew a shockingly high 10 opportunities. Fair or not, Marmol was the difference between the Cubs finishing where they did in 2011 (71-91) and them finishing at .500.