Marmol, Young & Pujols

Here’s my take on some of the recent Cub headlines:

1.) Evaluating the Carlos Marmol deal.
2.) Addressing Michael Young to the Cubs rumors.
3.) Pujols feeling pressure from Players’ Union?

1.) It’s clear 3-years for Marmol was the best move for the Cubs financially. It gives the Cubs some much needed payroll relief this season and shores up Marmol long-term.

My concern, however, is Marmol’s rubber-arm. While he’s shown tremendous durability to this point, nearly 60-percent of his pitches in 2010 were sliders. That statistic can’t be ignored, thus raising the question of how long before Marmol develops an arm injury?

Given his violent delivery and knack for throwing breaking balls, I figure it’s only a matter of time before Carlos lands on the operating table. Of course, there’s no guarantee Marmol suffers an arm injury, but should he, the Cubs are left paying Carlos big money to rehab. And there lies the risk of a 3-yr deal.

That said, Marmol’s numbers make him a risk worth taking, even at three years. And despite the risk, I’d ride Marmol’s arm hard without hesitation. Once his killer slider is history, so is Marmol. So use him while you got him.

2.) There’s a case to be made that Michael Young is a good fit for Chicago, and that the Cubs have the right pieces to make a deal. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or should happen.

Most speculation that I’m reading and hearing is Young for Soriano. It’s an interesting proposition, and if it’s a straight up swap, I’d be all-in if I’m Jim Hendry.

Besides the money being right, Young would be a valuable asset at 3B should Aramis falter offensively or suffer more injuries. Then there’s Young reuniting with his former hitting coach in Texas, Rudy Jaramillo. Lastly, moving Soriano opens up a full-time outfield spot for Tyler Colvin.

But if the talks range beyond Soriano, to say Marlon Byrd, I’d grow more skeptical. Young isn’t a player the Cubs need, especially at the cost of dealing the Cubs’ lone All Star from 2010.

3.) Tony La Russa expressed his opinion that the players’ union is pressuring Pujols to demand a 10-year deal. Nothing against LaRussa, but duh, of course they are!

You can’t fault the union for asking the best player in the game to set the bar for the rest of the league. CC Sabathia, among others, presumably felt the same pressure and eventually caved on his desire to play in So Cal rather than New York. I’ve got a feeling Pujols will do the same. Where Albert ends up, I don’t know?

One thing’s for sure, the Cardinals never should have let the situation go this far. If Albert leaves St. Louis it’s not the fault of the union, but rather, the Cardinals’ own undoing.

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