"Carlos' agent Barry Praver and I have a longstanding relationship," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said on ESPN 1000's "Talking Baseball" on Saturday morning. "I never thought it would get to that point and I still feel that way, whether it's on a one-year or multiyear deal."
Marmol is seeking $5.65 million while the Cubs offered $4.1 million.
In terms of a multiyear deal, multiple sources said the Cubs favor a three-year contract. In that scenario, Marmol would be signed through 2013, which would be his first year of free agency. The likely settling point on a multiyear deal would be somewhere between $22-25 million for three years.
Praver and Hendry met on Sunday at Hendry's office in Fitch Park. Marmol made $2.25 million in 2010, his first year of arbitration. He set a record for strikeouts by a Cubs reliever last season with 138. He also posted 38 saves and a 2.55 ERA.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.