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Cubs, Marmol agree to one-year deal

Cubs, Marmol agree to one-year deal

CHICAGO -- The Cubs signed Carlos Marmol to a one-year, $2.125 million contract Thursday, avoiding arbitration with their closer.

Marmol, 27, who made $575,000 last year, was asking for $2.5 million while the Cubs offered $1.75 million.

Only shortstop Ryan Theriot remains unsigned of the team's arbitration-eligible players. Theriot, 30, who made $500,000 last season, his third as the starting shortstop, is seeking $3.4 million, while the Cubs offered $2.6 million.

The two sides can come to an agreement at any point before an actual hearing. Arbitrators listen to arguments from both sides about the player's value and then pick either the player's figure or the team's figure.

The Cubs have not gone to arbitration since 1993, when Mark Grace filed for $4.1 million and the Cubs offered $3.1 million. The Cubs won that case and have a 3-2 record in such cases.

Marmol had battled for the closer's spot in back-to-back springs in 2008 and '09, and took over the job in mid-August, replacing Kevin Gregg. The right-hander finished the season 11-for-11 in save opportunities. Marmol led the team with 27 holds last year and now has 73 in his career, tied for first all-time on the Cubs with Kyle Farnsworth.

If there is a concern about Marmol, it's the high number of walks the right-hander issued last season. He walked 65 over 74 innings in 79 games while striking out 93. In 2008, Marmol walked 41 and struck out 114 in 87 1/3 innings over 82 games.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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