Spring training is still more than two months away, but the Cubs are already in the midst of a closer controversy.
Carlos Marmol's agent, Paul Kinzer, said he expected to talk to President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer this week about his client, who apparently feels unwanted because of the unannounced signing of Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.
"Just to clarify, Marmol is going to be our closer," Hoyer said Tuesday at baseball's winter meetings here.
That's if Marmol is still on the team, which remains to be seen. Marmol already was told he was traded once this winter, only for the deal with the Angels to fall through. Marmol originally told the Cubs he wouldn't waive his no-trade rights to go to the Angels, saying he loved Chicago and wanted to stay a Cub.
After an hour or so he changed his mind, only to be informed the deal was off. Epstein spoke to Marmol the next day, and Marmol told him he was glad he was still a Cub. But one month later, the signing of Fujikawa had Marmol's head spinning again.
Hoyer said the Cubs have a good relationship with Kinzer and are willing to explain things.
"We've had dialogue," Hoyer said. "I'm sure we'll talk about some more stuff. … If Carlos is on our team, he'll be our closer, and I anticipate Carlos being here."
The Cubs spent the second day of the meetings dealing with agents of free agents and their own players, with no indications they were close to signing anyone this week, other than Fujikawa.
Cubs reiterate Marmol closer — for now
Chicago Tribune | Dec 5