MESA, Ariz. -- Just how far into the process did that Carlos Marmol-Dan Haren near-trade get when the Cubs and Los Angeles Angels nearly swapped pitchers back in November?
The Cubs have said more than once the deal was never completed, suggesting Marmol - whose consent was needed to waive his no-trade rights -- got ahead of the facts when he told reporters in the Dominican Republic that he'd been traded.
But on his first day at Fitch Park for spring training, Marmol insisted Monday that he had especially good reason to believe the trade was done:
``Oh, yeah, major league baseball told me that I was traded. They told me they approved the trade,'' he said.
That would mean the money heading to the Angels in the deal would have been set.
``And the next day,'' Marmol said, ``I was told, `No, you're not going there.' ''
What's not in dispute is that the Cubs nixed the deal in the late stages of talks after determining that hip issues in Haren's medical records, in addition to well known back issues, weren't worth the risk. Haren later signed a one-year free agent deal with the Washington Nationals for $13 million.
``Well, I'm happy that I'm still here,'' Marmol said. ``Everybody knows I love being with the Cubs. I love being in Chicago.''
The Cubs' closer is in the final year of a three-year deal that pays $9.8 million this year.