Already mired in the midst of a wasted season, over the past two weeks the Chicago Cubs have managed to ruin their one expendable trading asset.
In what can only be described as a season of gaffes and miscues, Cubs manager Mike Quade may have outdone himself Friday. According to MLB.com writer Carrie Muskrat, Quade demoted Carlos Marmol from the closer role indefinitely.
While Marmol's on-field performance has been anything but stellar—allowing five hits, eight runs and an even bad for Carlos Marmol eight walks—the temporary demotion of the former All-Star seems unnecessary and short sided.
Slothing through their 103rd year of irrelevance, the Cubs will once again find themselves sellers at the July 31st trading deadline.
Armed with several high-priced, aging power hitters, the Cubs were sure to field offers of cap-relief, expiring contacts and fledgling prospects, but nothing worth a king's ransom.
With a roster full of bad money and bad players, the only chance of making a franchise changing deal appeared to be through the dealing of their filthy, strikeout throwing 27-year-old closer Carlos Marmol.
Rumors dating back to 2009 of potential deals for Marmol have all reportedly brought back an organization's top prospect along with several other young players.
For a team strapped of young talent, a Marmol deal seemed to be heading in the right direction.
But in all too Cubs' fashion, the demotion of Marmol from the closer role has ruined his value and sabotaged any potential 2011 deal.
To make matters worse, the back loaded nature of Marmol's contract, in which he is to earn $7 million in 2012 and $9.8 million in 2012, will only make trading him in future years more difficult.
For a player who has had fits of struggles in the past and soon worked his way out of them, it seemed odd that the Cubs would panic and remove him as their closer, especially when there was so much to lose in doing so.
But when a team is run by a general manager, who recently said the team would not be trading any of its "core players" (Marmol would seem to be one of those), in some delusion that his team is just one player away, nothing should surprise.