Carlos Marmol arbitration date nears

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs have an arbitration date set for Feb. 15 with closer Carlos Marmol. From management's perspective, however, things might not get to that point.

"Carlos' agent Barry Praver and I have a longstanding relationship," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said on ESPN 1000's "Talking Baseball" on Saturday morning. "I never thought it would get to that point and I still feel that way, whether it's on a one-year or multiyear deal."

Marmol is seeking $5.65 million while the Cubs offered $4.1 million.

In terms of a multiyear deal, multiple sources said the Cubs favor a three-year contract. In that scenario, Marmol would be signed through 2013, which would be his first year of free agency. The likely settling point on a multiyear deal would be somewhere between $22-25 million for three years.

Praver and Hendry met on Sunday at Hendry's office in Fitch Park. Marmol made $2.25 million in 2010, his first year of arbitration. He set a record for strikeouts by a Cubs reliever last season with 138. He also posted 38 saves and a 2.55 ERA.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.