Carlos Marmol was traded from the Cubs to the Dodgers on Tuesday. (Jason Szenes / Getty Images )
That’ll shake things up in the National League West. Or maybe not.
The Dodgers and Cubs completed their expected trade of relievers Tuesday, essentially exchanging bullpen disappointments.
As it worked out, there was nothing in the deal to send critics of General Manager Ned Colletti screaming into the night. Not one prospect was involved in the deal, let alone a highly prized one.
The Dodgers get Carlos Marmol, a one-time All-Star, the Cubs get Matt Guerrier, a onetime bullpen workhorse. Neither had worked out as planned, so it’s better luck on the next stop.
Both players had been designated for assignment by their teams, so there’s nothing really lost. Maybe there does prove an upside, maybe not. Seems a reasonable gamble for both.
Guerrier will be missed in the clubhouse, but he underperformed and struggled to find anything approaching a groove, particularly this year. Marmol once saved 34 games, but that was five years ago and he’s been positively awful this season (5.86 ERA, 1.70 WHIP).
The Dodgers had some luck turning around another failed closer last year with Brandon League, so who knows? Marmol can still strike people out (10.4 per nine innings) but he walks them like crazy too (6.8). He’s 30, four years younger than Guerrier, so there’s that.
The Times’ Dylan Hernandez reported that the deal will only cost the Dodgers approximately $500,000 in payroll, since it’s actually the Cubs kicking in salary.
A new element is also involved in deal, the Cubs sending the Dodgers something called a “signing-bonus slot” of $209,700 for international free agents. That may not sound like a lot of money, but under the new collective bargaining agreement teams are limited to the amount they can spend to sign young international players. The extra slot increases what the Dodgers have available to approximately $2.3 million, so that’s a decent bump.
It’s likely Marmol will initially head to the Dodgers’ training facility in Phoenix for some attempted fine-tuning before they try to add him to the mix on the 25-man roster. He last pitched June 20.
There’s not much lost in this deal, so there really isn’t a lot to get upset or excited about. If Marmol regains control, it’s a great move for the Dodgers. If he doesn’t, they can release him. And they still have that signing slot.