DENVER -- The Dodgers will attempt to revive the career of another floundering former All-Star closer, as they acquired Carlos Marmol, cash and cap space from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Matt Guerrier.
They got Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners under similar circumstances last year and League pitched well enough to convince the Dodgers to re-sign him for $22.5 million.
As was the case with League last year, Marmol has lost his job as the closer on a non-contending team. His performance was so brutal – he posted a 5.86 ERA in 31 games – that he was designated for assignment by last week. That removed Marmol from his team’s 40-man roster and gave the Cubs 10 days to waive, trade or release him.
Guerrier was also designated for assignment last week after posting a 4.80 ERA in 34 games.
Guerrier is in the final year of a three-year, $12-million contract. While Guerrier was popular in the Dodgers clubhouse, the signing never paid dividends on the field. In his 120 appearances with the Dodgers, he had a 4.24 ERA.
Guerrier, 34, is drawing a $3.75 million salary this season. Marmol, 30, will earn $9.8 million in what is the final year of his contract.
The trade will add only about $500,000 to the Dodgers’ payroll, as the Cubs are sending cash as part of the deal.
What could end up being the most significant part of the trade is the international signing bonus slot the Dodgers received from the Cubs. The slot is valued at $209,700, which increases the Dodgers’ spending limit on international amateur players to around $2.3 million.
The international signing period opened Tuesday and the Dodgers are looking to restock what is an admittedly thin minor league system.
Marmol was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, but it’s unknown if he will immediately report to the major league club. Instead, he might first go to the franchise’s spring training complex or the minor leagues.
Marmol was an All-Star in 2008, when he had a 2.68 ERA as a setup man.
Marmol became the Cubs’ closer late in 2009. His next season was arguably his best, as he saved 34 games, posted a 2.55 ERA and averaged a then-record 16 strikeouts per nine innings.
But Marmol has failed to duplicate that form over the last two-plus seasons. His troubles started in 2011, when he led the National League with 10 blown saves.