Dodgers acquire Carlos Marmol

Updated: July 2, 2013, 9:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DENVER -- With a few minor adjustments to his mechanics, the Los Angeles Dodgers believe they can resurrect the career of reliever Carlos Marmol.

The Dodgers acquired the struggling closer from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday for right-hander Matt Guerrier.

"He's still got a lot of youth to him," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a conference call before a game in Denver. "He's not on the downside of his career. He needs, perhaps, a change of scenery and an adjustment with his delivery."

Colletti said the team detected flaws in Marmol's mechanics, something they feel confident can be worked out. Marmol is currently in the Dominican Republic, but should report to the team soon.

"Anytime you can add somebody who's had success pitching the ninth, you can always use them in roles that don't include the ninth," Colletti said. "If you need the ninth, you've got somebody that's at least experienced. We're looking to add to the pen. Whatever that role becomes, it will become."

The Cubs designated Marmol for assignment June 25, giving the Cubs a 10-day period to trade him or give him his unconditional release. He had a limited no-trade clause with six teams he could block. He was 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA in 31 appearances this season, striking out 32 while walking 21 batters.

Marmol, who can become a free agent after this season, is ending a three-year, $21 million contract with the Cubs, who are the only team he's played for in the majors.

The Dodgers also acquired international signing bonus slot No. 4 from the Cubs as part of the deal. The Cubs acquired two international signing bonus slots as part of another trade on Tuesday, when they sent starting pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Chicago then sent one of the bonus slots to L.A.

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that in addition to Guerrier, the Dodgers will receive $2 million, which will cover close to half of the $4.8 million owed to Marmol, and $209,700 in international signing considerations. A source tells Stark that if Marmol doesn't work out in L.A. and the Dodgers release him, the Cubs would owe the Dodgers additional money only if another team signs Marmol.

An All-Star as a setup man in 2008, Marmol's best year as a closer was 2010, when he had 38 saves in 43 chances along with 138 strikeouts and 52 walks.

"His stuff is power stuff," manager Don Mattingly said. "At the end of the day, he helps us. We know he's a guy that has good stuff and has a potential to be nasty."

Los Angeles has experience fixing scuffling relievers. The team acquired Brandon League from Seattle last season, only to see him rediscover his form and save six games for the Dodgers. League has struggled at times this season -- converting 14 of 18 save chances -- and recently lost his job as the closer to Kenley Jansen.

The Dodgers are hoping they can transform Marmol.

"We've got good pitching coaches in this organization that can really dissect deliveries," Colletti said. "We think that we have found a couple of points in his delivery that with an adjustment could bring him back. Talking to him today, he's excited to start anew, to see if he can get better, and if he can return to the form he was in not too long ago."

Guerrier, 34, is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 34 relief appearances with the Dodgers this season. He spent seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, with his best season coming in 2007 when he posted a 2.35 ERA in 73 appearances. Guerrier is expected to report to the Cubs on Wednesday.

"Matt Guerrier had a very good run with the Twins for a long time as a middle reliever, and he's a guy that I think with a change of scenery and getting out of Los Angeles, maybe a fresh start will get him back to where he was pitching before," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Hopefully, he will come and be a good addition to our bullpen.

"But the significant part of the deal is that it netted us cash savings when we designated Carlos for assignment."

Colletti said the international signing bonus slot was just as important to the deal as Marmol. 

"An opportunity to get somebody with his ninth-inning history, coupled with being able to find a home for Matt Guerrier before we were going to need to release him, coupled with the opportunity to add the slot money on the international side, we thought there were a lot of good pieces to this," Colletti said. "We thought it was worth our while."

Also on Tuesday, the Cubs traded minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes to the Houston Astros for two international signing bonus slots (Nos. 2 and 3).

The $209,700 should allow the Dodgers to make at least one more international signing without going over their signing pool, which will now total slightly more than $2.32 million.

Information from ESPN's Jayson Stark and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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