Blog Entry

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 6:05 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After adding to the front of their rotation, the Reds are adding to the back of the bullpen, getting closer to acquiring Cubs lefty reliever Sean Marshall in return for left-handed starter Travis Wood and two prospects,'s Danny Knobler confirms.

Marshall, 29, has just seven career saves, but figures to be either the closer or set-up man for Cincinnati, which lost closer Francisco Cordero to free agency. Marshall was 6-6 with a 2.26 ERA with the Cubs last season, striking out 79 batters in 75 2/3 innings. He is signed through this season at $3.1 million in 2012 and will be a free agent after the season. He would join fellow lefty Bill Bray in the bullpen, as the team has said it expects Aroldis Chapman to move to the rotation.

Wood, who will be 25 next season, is 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 39 big league games and 35 starts. Last season he was 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA, striking out 76 batters in 106 innings. The Reds drafted Wood out of high school in the second round of the 2005 draft. He's under team control through the 2016 season and isn't arbitration-eligible until after the 2013 season.

The Reds sent three of their top 10 prospects to acquire Mat Latos and appear to be selling out for the 2012 race after watching their biggest divisional rivals lose major pieces with the Cardinals losing Albert Pujols and the Brewers facing a season without Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun facing a 50-game suspension.

The Cubs, on the other hand, appear to be listening to offers for just about anyone on their roster -- except for maybe Starlin Castro. Several sources have said the new Cubs brass now sees the state of the franchise as a long-term project and that there will be no real quick fix. David Kaplan of wrote the same thing on Wednesday, noting baseball officials say Chicago could be in for a "complete and total rebuild."

Wood would help the team long-term, even if he's nothing more than a fourth or fifth pitcher in Chicago, because he is affordable and under team control for so long. The Cubs could also try to deal closer Carlos Marmol, who is under contract through 2013 and outfielder Marlon Byrd, a free agent after the season, in an attempt to shed payroll and acquire prospects. However, finding takers that will take both money and give prospects could be tough for any of those names. The team's best trade chip is right-hander Matt Garza, who is under team control for the next two seasons. Based on what the Reds gave up for Latos, the Cubs could be tempted to move him for prospects -- the exact thing the previous regime gave up to get Garza.

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Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:45 am

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

I hope the cubs trade as many players on this current roster as possible.  I think trading Marmol before the deadline next year is necessary.  What they should do is let MArmol and Zambrano start the year on the cubs, hoping they get hot in the first two months, then unload them to teams in the playoff hunt.  They waited too long last year to trade the Big Jerk Z.  unfortunately they are stuck with Soriano

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:49 am

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

Well this trade would help the Reds a lot. Marshall has the makeup to be a solid closer. Or set up man or starter, whatever the Reds want. As a White Sox fan, I would love to have Sean Marshall on the Sox staff.

The Cubs though would be left with no bullpen. If I were them, I would put Marmol back as a setup man (or trade him) and groom someone else to be a closer. Doesn’t matter who.

I don’t know much about Travis Wood; I saw him pitch a few times and it seems he has gotten worse with each performance. Then again he is young enough to bounce back and be a pretty good pitcher. Getting him and a couple of prospects would be in line with what Epstein wants to do with the club.

And even though it is trading within your own division, I don’t think the Cubs would mind, as they are rebuilding anyway.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:46 am

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

I hate this trade.  The BEST left handed reliever in baseball for some relatively unknown?  Another stupid move for the Cubs..

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 8:00 am

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

We love Sean Marshall in Chicagoland. We have been clamoring for years to make him a full-time starter; but the Reds need him. We don't know much about Travis Wood, but the last name scares us in Chicago. At least its not "Prior." I think both GMs need to make this move, and with fans on both sides upset by it, both teams logically must be receiving quality guys. That's probably the best signal of a good trade, when both sets of fans are upset by it.
Good luck Reds this year; your pitching is solid and you're dynamite through the middle. But watch your backs for our Cubs after that.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:04 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

i don't like this deal at all.   another lefty reliever?  for a young lefty starter?  Wood as shown flashes of brilliance, and is still so young, that he could be a solid #2 in the future.   with Cueto, Latos, Leake, Wood and Chapman...  that could be the best rotation in baseball in a couple years.   why would you give him up just to get another left-handed reliever?  and even if he's to become the closer (which is the only way this deal makes sense), i STILL wouldn't trade Wood for him.   there isn't a reliever in the game worth a 24-year-old lefty that has already shown he has no-hitter stuff.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:20 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

Marshal is one of the best lefty RP in baseball but he can also start, close, pitch long. He is a great pitcher and has gotten better every year. Cubs should wait till the deadline and get something better than Wood. Wish they could sign him long term but that just wouldn't make sense.

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:17 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

I'm O.K. with this deal as a reds fan! The thought of Masset closing is scary!

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:09 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

Top of the line, this deal doesn't seem to help the Reds unless Marshall is truly the closer they expect they will need.

I don't agree with throwing in prospects but I will wait and see.

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

You have to give up something to get something in return. Wood is going to be a solid pitcher. Maybe he could even put together Ted Lilly type numbers. He kind of reminds me of Ted Lilly. But Marshall has closer stuff. He could be a hammer in the back of the Reds bullpen. Kudos to the Reds for trying to go for the win instead of playing for what might be in 2014.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2011 8:29 pm

Reds, Cubs close to dealing lefties

This is a short-sided trade that reminds me of the Cubs trading 18 year 1st round pick Jon Garland to the White Sox for 31 year Matt Karchner.  Garland has 330 major league starts and Karchner pitched in 58 games for the Cubs and retired eleven years ago.  And the new GM is guy that non-tendered David Ortiz allowing the Red Sox to sign him.  A great move for Ortiz.  Still a sad day for Twins fans.  Not to blame the GM, I actually blame the third base coach Al Newman who liked to send the big fella around third and got him hurt a couple times.  Ortiz missed chunks of seasons, and that is why he was non-tendered by the Twins.  The Red Sox have paid Ortiz over $81 million in salaries, so it's not like he would still be on the Twins now anyways.  I just saw this bad trade about to be made by the Reds, made a comment, and loo where I ended up?  Twins off-season therapy session.  Can you say second overall pick?  And I loved having Mat Latos on my fantasy team, now the love is gone.

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