Cubs face decision with Marmol

At this point in time, there’s no deal in place for Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol.

A Chicago Tribune story stated on Friday that the Cubs and Marmol were close to a multi-year deal. What Marmol and the Cubs are facing is a deadline of Feb. 15. That is when Marmol’s case is set to be heard by an independent arbitrator, who would decide if the $5.9 million that Marmol is asking for is the preferred amount over the $4.1 million figure the Cubs chose.

Knowing the history of general manager Jim Hendry, who has gone to arbitration just once in nine years on the job, Marmol will either settle on a one-year contract agreement or sign a multi-year deal. The only long-term contract that makes sense for the Cubs is three years or more, so Marmol gives up at least his first year of free agency in 2013.

The pitcher in return receives the security of a deal that could range between $23-$25 million on a three-year contract. Marmol makes $2.25 million 2010.

Hendry and one of Marmol’s agents Barry Praver have a long history of communication dealing with Carlos Zambrano’s contracts over the years.

If Marmol settles for a one-year deal, look for it to be between $4.7 million and $5 million.

Hendry’s only trip to arbitration was with Ryan Theriot in 2010. A case that was won by the Cubs.

The Cubs also would like to sign their newest acquisition, right-handed pitcher Matt Garza to a three-year deal.