The Chicago Cubs designated former All-Star Carlos Marmol for assignment Tuesday, parting ways with the struggling reliever.
Chicago has 10 days to trade or release him or send him outright to the minors if he clears waivers. Marmol, 30, was 2-4 with two saves and a 5.86 ERA in 31 appearances this season, striking out 32 while walking 21.
An All-Star as a setup man in 2008, Marmol became the team’s closer in late 2009 and compiled 117 saves, third on the Cubs all-time list. He was 23-32 with a 3.50 ERA in 483 appearances in parts of eight seasons with Chicago and is the fifth player in franchise history with 20 or more saves in three straight seasons, along with Ryan Dempster, Randy Myers, Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter.
His best year as closer was 2010, when he finished with 38 saves in 43 chances. He posted a 2.55 ERA with 138 strikeouts and 52 walks that season and followed that up with 34 saves in 2011. But he blew 10 chances that year and posted a 4.01 ERA.
Fans’ patience with him started to wear out, and he was booed at Wrigley Field in recent years. It was clear management was ready to part ways, too.
The Cubs had a deal in place that would have sent Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels for Dan Haren last winter, but that fell through. They also signed Kyuji Fujikawa, a longtime closer in Japan, but like Marmol, he struggled. He also suffered a season-ending elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
The Cubs’ closer now is Kevin Gregg, the man Marmol replaced in 2009. He has converted all 11 save opportunities after signing a minor league deal with Chicago in April.
The Cubs also released third baseman Ian Stewart, who had been at Triple-A Iowa. He was suspended two weeks earlier for ripping the organization on Twitter.
A-ROD READY FOR REHAB
Injured New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has tweeted that his hip surgeon has cleared him to play in rehabilitation games.
Rodriguez had left hip surgery Jan. 16 and has been working out at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla. He took swings in a simulated game situation for the first time Monday. On Tuesday night, he tweeted the message, “Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news – the green light to play games again!” along with a photo of himself and Dr. Brian Kelly, who performed the operation in New York.
But the Yankees have not cleared Rodriguez to play in minor league rehab games, and general manager Brian Cashman reacted angrily to Rodriguez’s tweet, according to ESPN New York.
“You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, (we will),” Cashman told ESPN.
The Diamondbacks’ Eric Hinske had his suspension from a June 11 brawl at Dodger Stadium reduced from five games to one. He dropped his appeal and served the suspension Tuesday night as Arizona opened a three-game series in Washington. … The Red Sox optioned former starting third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket.. … The Orioles reached agreement with their top two draft picks, high school players Hunter Harvey (22nd overall) and Josh Hart (37th). … The Royals shipped hard-throwing reliever Kelvin Herrera (3-5, 5.20 ERA in 29 appearances) to Triple-A Omaha. … The Angels acquired outfielder Collin Cowgill from the Mets for minor leaguer Kyle Johnson.