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redeyechicago.com

Epstein, Hoyer get nothing for another big-name pitcher

Steve Rosenbloom

The RosenBlog

10:06 AM CDT, June 26, 2013

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Officially, the Cubs designated Carlos Marmol for assignment. That’s baseball’s scenic route that eventually will land the shredded Marmol on the street.

The move appeared inevitable and is better for everyone, especially Cubs manager Dale Sveum. Whatever else happens in this situation, at least the bullpen is Sveum-proofed a bit more.

If only Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could Epstein-and-Hoyer-proof the pitching trade market.

“We knew in August of last year that we wouldn’t be able to trade him or acquire any value for him,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said of Marmol.

Well, no. That’s wrong. They could’ve gotten rid of Marmol for Dan Haren, but they backed out last offseason. They were worried about Haren’s health. Yes. Well. Then what’s Epstein’s and Hoyer’s excuse for Edwin Jackson?

Haren might be as bad as Jackson right now, but he would’ve cost the Cubs about $35 million less and been gone after this season. Jackson still has three seasons to go with that 3-10 record and ERA pushing 6.00. You can’t beat fun at the ol’ ballpark.

But wait. It gets worse. Using Hoyer’s chronology, the Cubs failed to get full value or any value for Ryan Dempster and Marmol, the two biggest pitching names they could’ve dealt last July 31.

We know about the Dempster disaster. Epstein and Hoyer failed to lock down all parts of a deal with Atlanta that included Dempster’s waiving his no-trade clause. Then it became amateur hour with the Cubs’ executive letting Dempster listen in on trade talks with the Dodgers, which came as a surprise to the Dodgers. Embarrassing.

Dempster was dealt to Texas for a lot less than the Cubs planned. Marmol went nowhere even though the Cubs knew they faced a hard deadline.

See what I mean about Epstein and Hoyer? They either failed to make the big move or made the big wrong move. The deal to get Travis Wood and the signing of Scott Feldman were sharp little moves. Same goes for signing and trading Paul Maholm last year. Maybe they’ll pay off big, but probably not as big as the other failed pitching moves.

For those of you scoring at home, the Cubs failed to get anything for Marmol and still owe him almost $5 million; they got a lot less for Dempster than they should’ve; and they’re enduring the misery of Jackson’s $52 million deal.

For those of you with the home edition of the Cubs GM No Matter Who He Is Waste-O-Meter ™, Epstein and Hoyer have spent themselves into a position threatening Carlos Zambrano territory.

And now they have Matt Garza sitting there. He’s healthy now. He’s coming off two strong outings in which he has allowed one earned run in 15 innings. He has been rumored from San Diego to Baltimore. But he’s still a Cub, which makes the count uh and oh.

Raise your hand if you think this will get botched, too.