Carlos Marmol is trying to keep his focus on the field as his name is mentioned in trade rumors.
"My mind is clear," said Marmol, who has been the subject of trade rumors. "I don't worry about what is being said now. At the beginning of spring training I was a little confused about where I would be. I had never been in this situation before last November, when I was almost traded. I was a little shocked then and early spring (training)."
Marmol, who is in the last season of a three-year, $21 million contract, was asked to waive his no-trade clause on Nov. 3 when the Cubs almost traded him to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Dan Haren. The deal fell through when the Cubs' medical staff expressed doubts about Haren's back issues.
"Things are easier for me now when I hear things," Marmol said. "At first you believe everything you hear. Now I talk to my agent and he keeps me up on things. I only worry about getting my work done and helping us win games."
Marmol has a 2.70 ERA in seven spring games, holding hitters to a .208 batting average with four walks in 6 2/3 innings.
He has 612 strikeouts since 2007, the most by any reliever over the past six seasons. Durability has been the key element in Marmol's success as a set-up man and closer. He is the franchise career leader in holds (77) and is third in career saves with 115.
"I think I am a better pitcher now after last year's changes," Marmol said. "They made me throw the two-seam fastball and they were right. I am more focused now. (Pitching coach Chris) Bosio and (manager) Dale (Sveum) get the credit for making me throw the fastball more often. That helped me command my pitches and get arm slot and power back."
A pending lawsuit against Marmol is still unresolved. A woman alleged she was accosted by Marmol in the Dominican Republic last fall. Police investigated the claim but have not filed charges against Marmol, who has denied the accusation.