Cubs avoid arbitration with four players

Updated: January 18, 2011, 6:54 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with four players but couldn't reach an agreement with closer Carlos Marmol, who filed for arbitration on Tuesday.

According to a major league source, pitcher Sean Marshall agreed to a two-year, $4.7 million contract, newly acquired pitcher Matt Garza will sign a one-year, $5.95 million deal and Tom Gorzelanny has a one-year, $2.1 million contract.

The Cubs made their agreement with catcher Geovany Soto official on Tuesday. ESPNChicago.com reported on Saturday that Soto and the Cubs agreed on a one-year deal for $3 million.

ESPNChicago.com reported Monday that Gorzelanny was traded to the Washington Nationals for three prospects, pending a physical. He is not expected to take a physical until Wednesday so the Cubs and his agent agreed to a contract which Washington will be liable for when the trade is official.

Marmol and his agent will file for arbitration with their figure and the Cubs will file with theirs. Tuesday is day the the teams and players file if they haven't agreed to a contract. Arbitration runs Feb. 1-21 when an independent arbitrator will review each side's offer.

The Cubs closer set a franchise record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher to go along with 38 saves in 2010. Marmol made $2.25 million last season. Now among the game's elite closers, his arbitration number may be as high as $5 million this time. The Cubs may come in at $4 million or $4.5 million.

Marshall, in his second year of arbitration, made $950,000 last season. Marshall struck out 90 batters in 74 2/3 innings as the Cubs' left-handed set-up man. Only eight inherited runners scored on Marshall.

Garza, 27, is coming off his best season, compiling a 15-10 record with a 3.91 ERA. Garza averaged 6.6 strikeouts and 2.77 walks per nine innings and pitched a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. Hitters batted .248 against Garza in 2010. He made $3.35 million last season.

Soto, the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, batted .283 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 2010, bouncing back from a subpar second season.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.