CARLOS MARMOL, 31, relief pitcher
Final 2013 stats: 2-4, 4.41 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, two saves, 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 52 games (0-0, 2.53, 1.55, none, 11.4 in 21 games as a Dodger).
Contract status: Free agent.
The good: He could still strike people out, at least when he could throw the ball around the plate. As a Dodger, he was second on the team to Kenley Jansen (13.03) in strikeouts per nine innings.
More than cut his Cubs ERA (5.86) in half while a Dodger, holding opponents to a .187 batting average.
The bad: Alas, when he wasn’t striking people out, he was too often still issuing them a free base. He walked 8.0 batters per nine innings as a Dodger, which was actually more than he had as a Cub (6.8).
What’s next: All things are possible for Marmol, aside from earning another $9.8 million and going into camp as the closer, as he did last season. Somebody will gamble on him, still tantalized by his stuff and believing they have the answer for his wildness.
The take: For three seasons (2009-11) Marmol looked like a real find for the Cubs. He averaged almost 30 saves a year and struck out 13.2 per nine innings, making his bouts of control issues tolerable.
But he blew 16 save opportunities the last three seasons and the Cubs had enough and designated him for assignment. The Dodgers, having reached a similar point with Matt Guerrier, and Cubs essentially swapped disappointments on July 2.
There were times the Dodgers thought they had turned Marmol around, much as they had Brandon League the previous season. They believed in him enough to put him on the roster for the National League Championship Series.
Where he goes from here, though, is massive speculation. Plenty of teams, Dodgers included, would welcome him to camp, just not under any kind of noteworthy guaranteed contract.
He’ll go somewhere to a team willing to take a flier on the former All-Star who’s still only 31. It’s just impossible to count on the guy.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times