NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago Cubs have been pleased to find plenty of interest in veteran players such as outfielders Alfonso Soriano and closer Carlos Marmol. And although these winter meetings have been more about free-agent signings than blockbuster trades, teams are encouraged that the logjam on deals could be broken before teams go home Thursday.
Soriano had the best power year of his career in 2012, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 104 (third best in the NL). Marmol regained his closer’s role with the help of pitching coach Chris Bosio and manager Dale Sveum after losing his way in April and May.
“Some of our veteran guys played really well (last season), Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “They performed better than they had performed in prior years and bounced back from some sub-par seasons and played well.”
Despite large contracts for both players, the Cubs will not just give them away to clear payroll space.
“Just to clarify, Marmol is our closer,” Hoyer said. “He had a great second half for us and you have to give a lot of credit to him, he made a lot of adjustments. I think Bosio deserves a lot of credit for learning about the player and seeing what he can do to help him make the adjustments.”
The slow-moving trade market does not really concern the Cubs, who have time and economics on their side. Numerous teams will need closer help between now and opening day. The only convoluting factor in Marmol’s situation is that he is one year away from free agency. The 30-year-old pitcher will make $10 million in the last year of a three-year $21 million contract he signed in late 2010. Marmol has veto power in his contract language over being traded to five teams.
Soriano has been of interest to a number of teams in the American League. The 37-year-old player has veto rights on any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights. He said no to a trade to the San Francisco Giants last August and has repeatedly stated he won’t play on the West coast.