Cubs take risk with Carlos Marmol deal

While most of the baseball world is focused on Albert Pujols' ongoing contract saga, another high-profile NL Central player signed a far more low-profile contract extension this week. On Monday, the Chicago Cubs signed closer Carlos Marmol to a three-year, $20 million dollar deal, two years before he was set to hit free agency.

On the surface, this seems like a reasonable contract on the heels of Marmol setting the major league record with 15.99 strikeouts per nine innings. For comparison, Rafael Soriano, who has been a dominant closer the past two seasons, just signed a three-year, $35 million deal with the New York Yankees. He was a free agent, so he had more leverage, which means Marmol received a little less than he would have gotten on the open market in exchange for some long-term security. Great for everyone, right?