Cubs

Kaplan: Cubs close to multi-year deal with Marmol

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Kaplan: Cubs close to multi-year deal with Marmol

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Posted 11:32 p.m.

By David Kaplan
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Cubs are moving towards finalizing a multi-year deal with star closer Carlos Marmol. The 28-year-old had 38 saves in 2010 with a 2.55 ERA and 138 strikeouts setting a major league record by averaging 15.9 K's per 9 innings.

Marmol is considered one of the most dominant closers in the game but does deal with bouts of wildness that hamper his effectiveness at times. He hit 8 batters and walked 52 in 77.2 innings of work last season.

The deal is expected to be completed before pitchers and catcher report to spring training next weekend.

Marmol and the Cubs went to arbitration with Marmol asking for 5.65 million and the Cubs countered at 4.1 million.

David Kaplan is the host of Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @thekapman.

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

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Former Cub Mark Prior 'likely' to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

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USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior 'likely' to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

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