2/4 Marmol & Cubs

The Cubs were expected to sign closer Carlos Marmol to a long-term contract this spring but an announcement will not be made until the right-hander undergoes a physical. Marmol is the team’s only arbitration eligible player still unsigned. The two sides have exchanged figures, with the Cubs offering $4.1 million and Marmol seeking $5.65 million. The right-handed pitcher would need to undergo an exam before a multi-year deal could be finalized, and that would most likely be done when pitchers and catchers report to Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training Feb. 13.

This is the second arbitration year for Marmol, who will not be a free agent until after the 2012 season. In his first season as closer in 2010, Marmol saved 38 of 43 opportunities and struck out 138 batters over 77 2/3 innings. His 15.99 strikeouts per nine innings was the highest single-season mark for a reliever in Major League history. Eric Gagne had the previous high of 14.98 Ks per nine.

– Carrie Muskat

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