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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Marmol hopes to be Cub in '13 and beyond

By Bruce Levine

Carlos Marmol
Carlos Marmol was prepared to leave the Cubs in November before a trade to the Angels fell apart.
MESA, Ariz. -- Entering the final year of his contract, closer Carlos Marmol hopes he stays with the Chicago Cubs this season and beyond.

The 30-year-old Marmol, who is in the final season of a three-year, $21 million contract, is dealing with a pending court case in which he has been accused of domestic abuse by a 24-year-old woman in his native Dominican Republic and the possibility that he will be traded before he becomes a free agent in November. Marmol said Thursday he’s not sure if he’ll have to return to the Dominican Republic to address the court case.

The Cubs tried to trade Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels on Nov. 2 for pitcher Dan Haren. Marmol waived his no-trade clause, which included four teams, but Haren's medicals raised enough eyebrows around the Cubs organization that the trade was rescinded before completion.

The Cubs insist Marmol will again be their closer this season, but he isn't quite sure where he will be pitching come Opening Day.

"I don't know about that," Marmol said. "They tried to trade me before. I hope I can stay here for the full year because it is hard to think about if you are going to be going somewhere else to pitch or not. I hope to stay here."

The Angels again may need some help in the back end of their bullpen. After missing out on Marmol, they signed former closer Ryan Madson as a free agent. Madson, who missed the 2012 season with an arm injury, has had some early arm soreness in Angels camp.

"I don't know where it stands for me," said Marmol, who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Cubs. "We will see what happens. I would like to stay here and sign for a couple more years. Right now I think we have a very good bullpen, and I would like to be a part of it all season."

Marmol said Monday when he reported to camp that he was angered by the accusations of domestic abuse and professed his innocence. The woman filed a suit in civil court, Marmol said. Marmol may have to go back to the Dominican Republic for a court appearance. El Nacional reported that Marmol was in court on Friday.

The Cubs have been sensitive to Marmol's on and off the field psyche since telling him he was traded and learning about his legal matter in the Dominican Republic.

"It hurts when you think you are going somewhere and the next day they call you and say you are not traded," Marmol said. "That is hard for anybody. (Cubs president) Theo (Epstein) was great about it, telling me something happened that they didn't expect to. He was very nice and calming because I was a little sad."

The Cubs signed Japanese free agent closer Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year contract in December. If Marmol is moved this season he would step into the closer's role. Fujikawa will be the Cubs' primary set up man from the right side to start the season. Since the beginning of the 2008 season Marmol's 374 relief appearances are the most in baseball.