Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Welcome to the Blue, Carlos Marmol!


How about that!  A rumored trade actually comes true.  So, in celebration I made the above fantasy card of Marmol.

Fortunately, this deal is far from horrible.  In fact, it makes a lot of sense when placed into the context of the story written by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times yesterday.
Kasten, speaking generally, said the Dodgers had no interest in trading any of their few top-tier prospects for a veteran whose contract expires when the season ends.

"If it's for a piece that would be a piece we could keep for the long term, you'd have to look at it," Kasten said, "but certainly not for a rental."

Kasten said he believes it takes three to five years to rebuild a minor league system. The new owners have invested heavily in scouting, particularly in international scouting.
This deal for Marmol in exchange for Matt Guerrier is all about bringing in fresh blood to the bullpen by essentially exchanging a under-performing bullpen veteran for another under-performing bullpen veteran.  Of course, since Mormol had been DFA'd by the Cubs he may never actually find himself in Los Angeles.  I suspect he'll pitch in AAA before even wearing Blue.  Anyway, the Dodgers also got cash back from the Cubs (said to be about $2Mil per Tim Brown) and International Signing bonus slot #92 money.

The key, I think, is the latter item.  The Dodgers basically get to spend an extra $209,700 on international free agents in order to bolster their farm system, and I suspects we'll know soon who that extra player will be.  BTW, I did not realize you could trade international draft slots until today.  This provides a very interesting aspect to future trades, and I am hopeful that one day teams will be allowed to trade their drafts picks in the amateur draft.

Per a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired right-handed reliever Carlos Marmol and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-hander Matt Guerrier. The Dodgers also acquired international signing bonus slot No. 92 valued at $209,700 from the Cubs as part of the deal.

Marmol, 30, was 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA and 117 saves in 483 games (13 starts) in eight big league seasons with Chicago. The native of the Dominican Republic, who was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on July 3, 1999, has limited opponents to a .185 batting average in his career with 703 strikeouts, the most in Cubs history by a reliever, in 542.1 innings. Since 2007, Marmol leads Major League relievers with 644 strikeouts, 125 more than his closest competitor (Jonathan Papelbon, 519), and ranks fourth with a .174 opponents’ batting average. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was selected as a 2008 NL All-Star and has posted 20 or more saves in each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 38 saves (4th, NL) in 2010.

Marmol was 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA and two saves in 31 appearances this season. He struck out 32 in 27.2 innings this year and limited opponents to a .252 batting average, including a .119 mark against left-handers (5-for-42). Prior to being designated for assignment on June 25, Marmol had tossed scoreless relief in five of his last six games.
*The Fantasy card above uses a pic via 2011 media day, via Ezra Shaw/Getty.

Below are Mormol's career stats, via Baseball Reference:


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Blog Kiosk: 7/2/2013 - Dodgers Links - One of Puig's Attempted Defections and Where is Grady Little Now?


Above is a look at July's issue of Dodgers Magazine featuring Adrian Gonzalez, pic via twitter @Dodgers.
  • Dustin Nosler at Feelin' Kinda Blue has an interesting report on the International Signing period that starts today.  Apparently, we have our eyes on a kid named Lucas Tirado.
  • True to the Blue has the early scoop on the 3 new Nike Yasiel Puig T-Shirts.  They are fabulous.  To the right is one of them.
  • All of the talk yesterday was about a potential trade bringing Carlos Mormol, Garza or Utley to the Dodgers.  I refuse to spend any time thinking or writing about these or any "trade rumors".  I've made the mistake in the past in thinking there was merit to the discussion, but at the end of the day most of it is just a useless mental exercise.  Besides, most of it is bunk, anyway.  The above causes me to point to a great article by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times called "Dodgers will spend again to improve, but improving farm system is key".  He shares a quote from team President Stan Kasten.
 "There are no shortcuts. I also think the direction we pursued last year — established veterans, looking at big free agents — we are going to move away from that.

"I know people think we are in this deal, in that deal, and in any deal. That is not what the next phase of this franchise requires."
His way of thinking reminds me of how the Kings established a long term plan 5 to 6 years before they eventually won the cup.  It's all about Prior Proper Planning Preventing Piss Poor Performance.  Clearly, we are still in the early stages, and I look forward to seeing how everything develops.
  • Via Jeff Passan at Yahoo, "Coast Guard crew reflects on time with Yasiel Puig during attempt to defect to U.S."  This is a must read!
One night, the gravity of the situation depressed Puig. Torres could tell the toll his impending return to Cuba was taking, so he went to his locker and retrieved a pair of tennis balls. He brought them to Puig, along with a Sharpie, and asked him to sign.

Carlos Torres was the first American to get Yasiel Puig's autograph, looped in perfect cursive with his number for Cienfuegos: "Y Puig 14."
“I started to feel the same way after a five-game losing streak as I felt after a five-week winning streak,” he says. “I knew that wasn’t right. I’d been going for a lot of years. And at that time I thought, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
  • "Puig's electrifying debut month"  Yasiel Puig had a record-setting first month in the bigs, his 44 hits second in MLB history in that span after Joe DiMaggio.  Check out their video below celebrating it.

Video Link:

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Roy Campanella All-Stars Barnstorming Team Photo at Hake's Auctions

Hake's Americana and Collectibles is running another one of their great auctions and it includes even more Negro League memorabilia from the famed collection of Richard Merkin.  From a previous post:
Merkin was a American painter and illustrator who taught his craft for over 40 years at the Rhode Island School of Design. His own works reside in the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution. He also wrote for Vanity Fair and illustrated the book "Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Leagues." BTW, pop culture enthusiast might find it interesting to know that Merkin appeared on the cover of the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album (back row, right of center).
He was an avid collector of vintage Negro League photography as evidenced by his collection that has appeared at Hake's over the past couple of years.

Below is a Dodger related photograph from the Merkin collection.  It is from 1954 and features the Roy Campanella All-Stars barnstoming team.  As you know, many ballplayers traveled the country playing Baseball to eager fans during the winter months to earn some extra coin.  Other Dodgers in the photo below include Don Newcombe, Joe Black and Jim Gilliam.

From the auction description:
Photo show(s) 12 players, 11 of which played in the Major Leagues and are wearing a MLB uniform. The only exception is Othello Renfroe who played in the Negro and Mexican Leagues and is shown here in a Toronto uniform. The others players/uniforms are: Larry Doby/Indians, Dave Hoskins/Indians, Jim Pendleton/Braves, Bob Boyd/White Sox, Don Newcombe/Dodgers, Harry Simpson/Indians, Joe Black/Dodgers, Bill Bruton/Braves, George Crowe/Braves, Roy Campanella/Dodgers, Jim Gilliam/Dodgers.
(Auction Link)

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