According to a recent Cubs.com article, Carlos Marmol is not a lock to be the Cubs closer come opening day 2009. Now I'm definitely in the minority, but I don't want Marmol to get the job. Hell, I don't even want him as the everyday 8th inning setup man. Am I crazy? Probably. But I have a method to my madness. In '08 he was used a lot, in a variety of situations. The most valuable of which was coming into tight game situations and getting a key out, usually by strikeout (he lead the majors in K/9 for all pitchers with at least 80 IP). Only someone who followed the Cubs day in and day out last year can fully realize how important he was in that role. And obviously he can't do that if he's the closer. I feel that role is more important to winning than the closer is.
Now would Kevin Gregg be an elite closer? Probably not. Would he be better than Carlos Marmol? Probably not. But closers are the most overrated position in baseball and Gregg has shown he can do it. And even if we can't, we can always revert to the Billy Beane philosphy that good closers grow on trees. Depending on his development, Jeff Samardzjia could be an effective closer, but I seriously doubt if he could be an effective midinning stopper. Now would it be very unconventional to put an unedxpirenced Samardzjia in the 9th inning role, of course. But I trust him more to get 3 outs in the 9th with a lead, than to get 1 out with runners in scoring position in a close game.
Carlos Marmol is by far the best reliever on the Cubs, and one of the best in all of baseball. He shouldn't be wasted as our closer.