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2013 Chicago Cubs Betting Odds – Who is going to take over Closer roll

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The past twelve months haven’t been kind to Carlos Marmol. The Cubs nearer lost the ninth-inning role within the middle of a poor and injury-riddled 2012 season, was nearly listed to the L. A. Angles for Dan Haren at the start of the offseason, watched the Chicago Cubs sign a Japanese All-Star nearer and continues to contend with making an attempt off-the-field issues. Through all of this, the Cubs insist that Marmol still can handle the ultimate 3 outs.

MLB Betting OddsMarmol, 30, managed 20 saves and a respectable 3.42 ERA last year, but his never-ending control struggles reached dangerous heights (7.3 BB/9), and now he enters the final year of his contract. No wonder there’s been plenty of trade speculation surrounding the right-hander.

The primary reason for that, though, is the acquisition of Kyuji Fujikawa, one of the top closers for the past several seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). A 32-year-old righty who has averaged 34 saves the last six years, Fujikawa has shown both great stuff (12.4 K/9) and great control (2.4 BB/9). He signed for $9.5 million over two years back in December.

In an odd twist of fate, much like the Cubs, Fujikawa’s former club, the Hanshin Tigers, are also enduring a curse of sorts, which dates back to 1985 — the last time the Tigers won Japan’s championship.

Fujikawa will skip the World Baseball Classic at the Cubs’ request, per the Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer. That could be an indication the the club wants Fujikawa to assimilate himself to Major League Baseball as well and as quickly as possible, so that he will be in position to step into the ninth inning at some point soon.

So while the job would appear to still be Marmol’s for now, the leash will be very short. Perhaps the best-case scenario for the Cubs would be to have Marmol pitch well for the first half of 2013, at which point he could be traded to a team in need of late-inning help, both freeing up some of his $9.8 million salary and opening the door for Fujikawa.

MLB Betting Odds list Chicago Cubs 40-1 to win the National League Pennant and 80-1 to win the World series. Bet on MLB Future Wager Click Here.

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