MESA, Ariz. — After a judge in the Dominican Republic sent the domestic abuse case against Carlos Marmol to a higher court on Friday, Cubs president Theo Epstein said he believes his closer will be exonerated.|
"We take any accusation of this nature seriously," Epstein told the Chicago Tribune. "All the information we could gather supports Carlos' contention that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. We expect this matter to be behind him soon."
The Cubs sent attorneys to the Dominican to look into the criminal complaint that 24-year-old Miledys Mejia Cepeda filed. No police charges apparently have been filed since the incident allegedly occurred last October, and a hearing on the matter was conducted on Friday.
When the nation's Supreme Court of Justice will address the case was not reported. Marmol attended Friday's hearing with his attorneys, the Dominican Republic's El Nacional reported.
Cepeda's attorneys also asked Marmol be barred from leaving the country until the case has been resolved. But Marmol's attorney Nelson Pimental told the Tribune via email on Friday, "Carlos will be OK and in time at training camp."
Cubs pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training on Monday in Mesa.
Marmol's agent, Paul Kinzer, says he spoke to the reliever after the hearing on Friday and maintains the veteran pitcher will be in camp on time.
"He told me he will be on a flight to Phoenix Sunday night," Kinzer said.
Pimentel says the allegation is false and told the Tribune he filed a counter complaint, accusing the woman of trying to extort and blackmail Marmol.
"Carlos Marmol is totally innocent of the things he is accused of. They never occurred. She is only trying to get money out of Carlos Marmol," Pimentel said earlier. "It is very important for us to say the legal case against him is not true."
Pimentel said the accuser and Marmol both hail from the area of Sonador and Bonao, about 100 miles northwest of the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. Kinzer said he visited Marmol in his hometown last week and reported the locals have been supportive, believing he's innocent of the allegations.
Marmol will be a free agent after 2013, and said he hopes to remain a Cub. When the Cubs tried to deal him to the Angels after the season, Marmol initially declined to waive his no-trade rights before eventually changing his mind. The deal for Dan Haren later fell through when the Cubs backed out at the last minute.
Still, this likely will be Marmol's last season with the team he came up with. The Cubs' contract for newly signed Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa includes performance incentives for games finished in 2014, which suggests they will move him into the closer's role after this season. If that's the case, Marmol probably would be trade bait before the July 31 deadline.
Whatever happens in the future, Kinzer said Marmol isn't going to let the incident in the Dominican affect his mindset. He said Marmol has gotten into great shape this winter and will report to spring training the lightest he has been in years.
"Everything is fine," Kinzer said. "He didn't do anything wrong. He's hoping it is all settled before it gets (to the higher court)."
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