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UDPATE: Cubs and Reds “close” to trade involving Sean Marshall and Travis Wood

Dec 21, 2011, 12:48 AM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

UPDATE: Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago reports that the deal is “close” and that the Cubs would receive two minor-leaguers along with Wood.

10:29 PM ET: The Reds landed Mat Latos in a blockbuster deal over the weekend, but they aren’t done on the trade front.

Ken Rosenthal on reports that they are currently discussing a deal with the Cubs for left-hander Sean Marshall. Chicago is said to be eyeing left-hander Travis Wood, a pitcher who intrigued team president Theo Epstein when he was general manager of the Red Sox last season. It’s not known what other players might be in the deal.

Marshall has emerged as one of the best relievers in the game over the past two seasons, posting a quality 2.45 ERA and 169/42 K/BB ratio over 150 1/3 innings while handling righties and lefties with nearly equal aplomb. The 29-year-old left-hander is due $3.1 million next season before hitting free agency.

Wood had a disappointing 4.84 ERA in 18 starts and four relief appearances at the major league level this past season, but showed plenty of promise when he posted a 3.51 ERA and 86/26 K/BB ratio over 102 2/3 innings as a rookie in 2010. The 24-year-old southpaw doesn’t throw all that hard and profiles as a fly ball pitcher, but this is a pretty good time to attempt to buy low.

  1. cerowb - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    As a Cubs fan, I’ll say thanks but no thanks to this stinker of a deal. Not only is Marshall one of the most under-rated player in the game today, he’s also the only guy who can get anybody out in the Cubs bullpen. No Marshall means more Jeff Smarzjhgfrlqna…no thank you.

    • Gonzo - Dec 21, 2011 at 1:13 AM

      The Cubs are rebuilding. No need for Marshall on this team. If my math is correct, he’ll be a free agent in 2013. Wood has 4 more years til free agency. Use him as a trading chip. I like this trade for Chitown.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:45 AM

        Agreed, if they’re not trying to win it all in 2012 you might as well trade a reliever who’s a year away from FA for an intriguing starter.

      • cubbiebluemangroup - Dec 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        Marshall for an “intriguing starter”? I’ll tell you what’s intriguing. Starting Marshall. He’s still young enough to be a force when the club eventually turns around and gives the beloved a lefty presence in the rotation. My patience is wearing thin with the Boston Brain Trust Not resigning Rammy and considering trading away our two best pitchers leave me ready to lean out my window and scream “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore.”

  2. Kyle - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Seems like a good buy low opportunity. Trading relievers for starters is generally a goof strategy.

    • Kyle - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:31 AM

      Or, you know, good.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:02 AM

      It’s so goofy. It’s straight-up zany.

  3. baseballisboring - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    I don’t think this would be a great deal for Cincy, they don’t exactly have 4 aces behind Latos, though Cueto is good.

    • theallegedone - Dec 21, 2011 at 2:21 AM

      4 aces behind Latos, though Cueto is good? Cueto is the #1. Latos is #2.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:44 AM

        Well…I guess since he has more tenure he’ll be starting opening day, if that’s what you mean. Latos is better than Cueto though.

      • paperlions - Dec 21, 2011 at 6:50 AM

        What Cinci does have is a lot of other guys with a similar ceiling to that of Wood. They can probably sign a decent reliever for similar or less money without giving up any players, but at least they are dealing their depth.

    • savvybynature - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Umm… Cueto was talked about as a potential Cy Young candidate for much of last year, despite calling one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the league home. He had a 2.31 ERA and a 1.1 WHIP.
      Latos, whose home field was one of the least hitter-friendly ballparks, had a 3.47 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP.
      Who is better again? Don’t get me wrong, Latos has been good. But don’t overlook Cueto.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

        So? The ERA is pretty misleading. Cueto had a 3.45 FIP, 3.90 XFIP. Latos had a 3.16 FIP, 3.52 XFIP. Latos struck out 8.57 per 9 compared to 6 for Cueto. Cueto had a fluky-low home run rate of 0.46 per 9, compared to his career rate of 1.02. Who says I’m overlooking Cueto? I’d love to have him on my team. But…you know, I’d rather have Latos.

  4. heckjeck - Dec 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    As a Reds fan I HOPE this trade is followed by another or a free agent pickup.

    Marshall is a very good reliever and a possible closer. Maybe if they like what they see they will offer him a long term deal. So…the 3.1m he makes this year actually frees up more payroll to get a LF.

    Beltran for 2/24m.

    Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

    • metalhead65 - Dec 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      why do you and the experts keep saying reds need a left fielder? they have one in Chris Heisey who put up equal or better numbers than the guys they are looking at to replace him. great so so your stupid saber metrics say he can’t hit leftahanders,did you ever stop to think that if maybe you know he actually got to face them on a regular basis he might be able to? as usual we have no clue as to why dusty feels the way he does about him but remember this is the guy who had no problems sending johnny gomes out there everyday even though he stopped hitting after may of 2010. the guy hits 3 homers in a game and you don’t play him the next day? his idea of platooning him after finally getting rid of gomes is fred lewis plays 5 out of 7 games so yea he got a real chance to play. had they just played him everyday for a month last year they would know if he could handle the job. it is ok to send stubbs out there to strike out 5 times a game everyday but not give Heisey a shot? as for this deal well at least it isn’t a former ex-card but does it make any sense to get rid of a young starter you have control of the next 4 years for a guy who will leave at the end of the year? and make no mistake he will bolt if he is as good as everyone says he is,because as you know the small market reds can’t afford to pay anybody who is any good. they will overpay washed up former cards and other teams rejects but to pay for somebody with real talent or a real star? can’t happen cause they are the small market reds.

      • jeffbbf - Dec 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        I remember when Hendry had to get Neifi Perez off the Cubs’ roster so Dusty couldn’t put him in the lineup anymore – at the expense of rookie Theriot. Sounds like that’s what happened with Gomes. Dusty’s just another one of the group of managers incapable of innovation that keep getting jobs because of their names. He’s scared to death of having to answer questions in the post-game press conference about something he did that was unconventional, so he sticks with the safe decisions he can answer for: Q: “Why are you starting Gomes over Heisey” A: “Gomes is a veteran and we’re paying him a lot of money – he’ll work his way through his struggles”

  5. cintiphil - Dec 21, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    I like what Walt is doing here. he is probably going for a 2012 big splash, because I don’t think Marshall will be anxious to sign with the Reds after that. He is going to want big money if he is very good again, and that is what the Reds don’t have. I like Wood, but he has not been an effective starter on a consistent basis, so why not trade him for a good set up guy or even a dependable closer, which Marshall can be? Walt has already traded for Latos and now the rotation is lining up. All the Reds need is for Homer to show he can start and they have their 1-2-3 guys. I think this is a good move. And, not to mention Chapman who is a possible ace starter, or even a great set up guy. Left field will be set after Spring.

    • metalhead65 - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      you are putting to mutch faith in chapmann as a starter. he can’t go more than 2 innings as a reliever and missed the arizona and winter league because of shoulder problems not to mention his control issues. if he does make the transition how long before he goes under the knife because of playing under dusty the arm killer?

      • cintiphil - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:37 AM

        That is my opinion basically, except that Chapman is still young and learning. The doctors say his shoulder problems are not serious, and you have to believe that. If they turn out to be wrong, then all of this is for nothing, but is just a place to start. Besides Chapman, they have other future starters, who could step in to be the 4th and/or 5th guy. The team has to do something to plan for 2012, and this is a good start.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I’d rather have a cheap, potentially very effective starter for 4 years than a guy who will get 8th inning holds 2-3 times a week.

    • cintiphil - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM


      If you are looking for a CHEAP, VERY EFFECTIVE starter in this game, you will be waiting a long time. I don’t think there are too many of them around.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        Wood has a chance to be one. And I’d rather have a high-upside young starter than a 1-inning a night guy. Call me wacky.

  7. cintiphil - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM


    Your wacky. Wood has not show that he will be a long term starter, as Cueto.

  8. buckdaddy24 - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Travis Wood will be a solid 3 or 4. He competes and this would be a foolish deal for Cincinnati.

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