Cubs send Marshall to Reds for Travis Wood and two minor league players

Cubs send Marshall to Reds for Travis Wood and two minor league players

The deal is done, according to Bruce Levine.  Pending physicals, the Cubs will send Sean Marshall to the Reds in exchange for 3 young building blocks for the future:  Travis Wood and two minor league players who have not yet been named.

I talked about this deal recently and thought it was an okay deal if it was just straight up.  Not great, but understandable.  The fact that the Cubs got two more players makes this potentially a very good trade for the team down the road when the team is ready to compete.

You can read my original take here.

I will update this piece when I know the two names going over to the Cubs along with an analysis of those players.

Filed under: trades, Transactions


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  • Sad to see Marshall go, as he has been one of the top lefty relievers in all of MLB the past couple of seasons. However, Jeff Russell's bullpen work last year makes me hopeful that he can take over, and we can get some quality pieces back in this deal.

    Also, we need look no further than ex-Cub John Grabow to see that success in the majors can be temporary, and perhaps trading Marshall at the top of his game is a good move. I'll be anxious to see who the other two players are, and what kind of depth they can provide in the organization.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    It's true. Marshall's value wasn't going to get any higher. He's still 29 and relatively underpaid. After next year he'll make much more money and be in his 30s. Won't be quite the same asset.

  • I think this is a solid trade for the Cubs even without knowing who the minor leaguers are. It could turn into a great trade once we find out. Whenever you can get a young SP who's had a bit of success in the majors for a reliever you've got to take it. Marshall's been great for the Cubs but they have a good stable of lefties ready to step up. Wood proved in 2010 that he's got some talent. He struggled last year but he still has the upside of a #3 starter.

  • In reply to Zorb:

    I feel the same way. Minor league guys are gravy. MLB radio reporting that they'll probably be low level minor league arms w/upside but not sure if that's based on info or just speculation.'s a great deal for the Reds, who are in win now mode. They weren't going to start Wood, and Marshall gives them a LH pen guy to replace Chapman.

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    I think this is a very good trade for the Cubs, potentially great depending upon who else they get. As mentioned on this blog before, and I was also thinking that now we don't need Maholm as Wood and he have very similar numbers. But actually, Wood's numbers are a little better because he does have better strikeout numbers. Everything else is virtually identical so this leads to a little better fip than maholm. Also, he is obviously younger and so has better potential. You get a couple of prospects on top of that and if you want as somebody pointed out you can always sign Marshall back after next year although I doubt the Cubs will need him by that point.

  • In reply to Gary Kueper:

    Nice analysis. I think this could end up being a nice deal for the Cubs. We have to note also that in losing Marshall, we should think of losing him for one year only. The Cubs likely had no intention of re-signing him and would have lost him for a supplemental draft pick. As it is, they'll get 3 players, one of which who's had some success at the MLB level.

  • I can't imagine the 2 minor leaguers have much value. I will be pleasantly surprised if they do. Either way, I like the deal.

    John, multiple sources are reporting that the Rangers are looking hard for a closer and a center fielder. What would be your opinion of giving up Marmol and Byrd for Matt Harrison? Would that be a fair deal to both teams?

  • In reply to cme12e:

    I think the Cubs would do that deal in a heartbeat, but that would be a steep price for Texas. It would mean losing 2 of their top 3 lefties. I think they might do it for a pitching prospect or two with upside.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, don't forget we need a 3B, and Olt is blocked.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    They could always move Olt to 1st. I don't believe they'd give up Olt for that package. I know I wouldn't if I were Jon Daniels.

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    I'm sad to see Marshall go but I understand the reasons behind it. He's going to be a free agent in 1 year and the new CBA severely ruined his trade value, with him no longer bringing compensation.

    I haven't been impressed by Travis Wood in the little I've seen of him, but if he can be an average SP for a few years and possibly improve, that's a fair return for potentially only 1 year of Marshall. If either of the two minor leaguers we get do anything in the majors that's a plus, but I wouldn't expect either to be a top prospect.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I think that's what we should expect--an average pitcher. If he turns out to be better, great. If not, at least you have an average arm that's not making a lot of money instead of paying average pitchers 18M/yr. That's going to be nice to see for a change.

    As for the prospects. My guess is young guys with upside, but far from majors.

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    John, what are your thoughts on Sulbaran?

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Renken might be a good pickup too.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Good low level sleeper.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Missed the second guy. Don't know much about him. Good size, good numbers in A ball, not young forhis league but not too old either

  • Side note..

    A few people have asked me about Rebel Ridling. He's scheduled to play tonight in Venezuela along with LaHair. So if you want to check them out, here's the link...(it's ESPN but it's in Spanish)

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    John, just a wild thought, any chance the prospects will be PTBNL. If they were 2011 draftees like Cingrani or Stephenson, they'd have to be.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Always a chance but unlikely. Just don't think it's going to be anyone that good. Some Reds forum just said the two guys were P Travis Webb and C Kevin Coddington. If that's the case, then those guys aren't really even prospects -- or fringe prospects at best. Not sure where he's getting his info, but if it's those two guys, then we can say the trade was 99% about getting Travis Wood.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Some Reds have also mentioned that on mlbtr, hopefully it's just a rumor. Straight up for Wood is nice but not exactly a steal imo.

  • In reply to furiousjeff:

    Not exactly "Straight up" but if we're getting fringe prospects they don't seem to factor into the decision much.

  • In reply to furiousjeff:

    If those are the guys, it's pretty much a straight up deal. I still think its a win because of the years/value and the fact that Wood's a starter, but I agree, wouldn't call it a steal.

  • If the Cubs are going to make many 1 for 2 or 3 trades then most of the prospects will have to be below AA. That way they don't have to go on the 40-man roster. Which is ok in order to leave room on the
    40-man roster for maybe a wavier claim.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Good point. Cubs probably don't want to clog up roster space if they can avoid it right now.

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    Like many of you, I'm sorry to see Marshall go, but with the bullpen arms we have now, it's time to groom the next Marshall.

    Also, Wood looks like he could be a halfway decent starter (his '10 numbers are solid, '11 gave up way too many hits - hopefully it was soph. slump related), and he's young and lefty. The 2 nameless kids makes this a win.

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    In reply to brober34:

    After checking out some other sites, I looked closer at Wood's splits and I like what I see. He was much better on the road over the last 2 seasons, (8-4 3.58 vs. 3-6 5.30) which means he should be solid at Wrigley when the wind blows in, and hopefully continues pitching well on the road (except for his starts in Cincy!).

  • In reply to brober34:

    Nice find. He could be tough in Wrigley. Just keep the ball down when the wind blows out.

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    Great deal for the Cubs! I can't wait to hear about the other two prospects.

    But....., this signals the end of the Cubs going for a World Series title in 2012. Let the rebuilding begin!!! It's about time. I'm not sure I can watch the Cubs games this year. It's going to look uglier then last year. To be honest though, I'll still be watching but at least I'll know what to expect.

  • In reply to Danny Guerra:

    Runs will be tough to come by but I'm hoping we see less mistakes in the field and on the basepaths. And the defense should help the pitching. It won't be exciting in terms of scoring runs, but it'll be a smarter, more team oriented brand of baseball.

  • This a nice deal and the two prospects might be raw but have potential. Having a guy like Marshall on a rebuilding team is a indulgence, better to trade him for building the Cubs. The "smart" teams do this all the time and I'm glad the Cubs are becoming one the smart teams.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I'm keeping my expectations low on the prospects. Maybe I've been conditioned after so many years of getting low level guys who don't pan out, but I'm leaving myself open to be pleasantly surprised.

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    John, i'm with you completely on that..Jim Hendry always had a knack to go for quantity over quality in his deals and that sucked for the most part..When we traded Theriot and Lilly for DeWitt and 2 kids I was hoping for at least one top 10 kid coming over and we got 2 guys who were barely in the Dodgers top 20.. Same with the D Lee deal and the DeRosa deal for the most part..Hoyer and McLeod got Weiland and Robbie Erlin for Mike Adams, I hope this return is comparable..

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Those 2 pitchers Hendry got for Lilly/Theriot have been a bust. One got bumped off the roster and the other won't make the top 30 prospect list. The prospect they got for DLee was pretty decent at the time but he's been a disappointment as well. The DeRosa deal was the best, as we did get Chris Archer for DeRosa. Archer was later the centerpiece in the Garza deal along with Hak Ju Lee.

    This deal is somewhat comparable to the Adams deal, but the circumstances are slightly different. When Texas made that trade, they thought they'd be getting 2 1st round picks in return, since then the CBA has changed that. Plus they got Adams for the last 2 months of a pennant race + the next year. Erlin has a #3 ceiling, so that part is pretty close. Weiland is more of a back of the rotation guy. Wood is somewhere in between but he's also proven. If we get a back of the rotation candidate, maybe somebody in the #11-#15 prospect range, then I think we will have done well.

  • The Cubs were already going to be terrible in 2012... Marshall is going to be a free agent after the 2012 season. I don't see how anyone could be against this trade... there is absolutely no value in having Marshall on the roster, whereas we were able to pick up a young left handed starter and two prospects for essentially a wasted season worth of stats.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Agreed. I think that's the general sentiment on this board but I do know that Cubs fans elsewhere are really upset about the deal.

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    John do you anticipate a deal for the Pads Rizzo folling this deal at all??

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I'm 50/50 on a Rizzo trade. Would really like to have him but hard to match up with the Padres when they're looking for the same things the Cubs are. I don't believe the extra players we'll get in the Marshall deal will be nearly good enough to trade for Rizzo.

    I think taking on a bit of salary might facilitate the deal for Rizzo. Padres would love to get rid of Hudson and Bartlett, both of whom are overpaid. Cubs can send them Barney as a low cost replacement. Barney may not be a great player, but he's about as good as those guys are and he makes a lot less money. I don't know, really. Cubs will have to be really creative to get Rizzo, in my opinion, unless they want to give up one of their own top 3 prospects.

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    Hi John, what are the chances that the 2 minor league players weren't announced because Theo is letting Boston pick them as his compensation. It would make sense that this is the level of player they'll end up getting anyways.

  • In reply to mblum876:

    I think it's more likely the names haven't been announced because the players have to pass their physicals. Once that's done, the Cubs will announce the trade officially and we should hear the names then.

    I don't know if they'll be worthy of compensation. Comp won't be much, but I get the impression it will be more than what we get from the Reds.

  • In reply to mblum876:

    The same could be said about the Padres compensation. Or maybe the Padres would like to have a say in what prospects to add into a trade for Anthony Rizzo.

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    Rangers are rumored to be in discussions with Braves about Jair Jurrgens.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Braves asking a lot for Jurrjens. And I'm a bit surprised because Rangers seem to be set on pitching right now. Call me skeptical on this one for now.

  • Like most of us, like Marshall as a pitcher and a person even though I dont know him personally, seems to be a real team guy. Looks like he's just caught in of the better lefty relievers in the league, underpaid and contract running out and pitching for a team fixing to "explode" possibly. It's a good deal for him, going to a team with a shot now, he deserves that and in realty is an ok thing for the Cubs for al the reasons that have already been commented on. Strictly a business deal, probably more to come, some could be "creative" and have ramifications a couple of years down the road, should be pretty interesting if nothing else...hold on, here we go!!

  • John, these two moves in the last day are very good in my opinion.
    First, Johnson is a outstanding outfielder, who can you two or three days of good production a week.
    Second, I've seen Wood pitch twice and the first time was the two hit job you referred to, while the second he was so so. I think he is a reliable third or fourth starter, and since our bullpen is our strong spot, why not make the deal.
    Remember when Theo came in he said we should have eight or nine major league ready starters in the organization. Right now we have five counting Zambrano, a I'm assuming he stays. Why pay Florida fifteen million and watch him win 15 games for them. I say now sign one of the cheap free agent pitchers and let him eat innings and use Wells as a long man to give you six starters. Hopefully we can develop a couple more at Iowa to give us seven and eight.
    Remember, last year we had five and two went down the first week and it was a disaster after that.

  • In reply to Leo the Lip:

    Exactly, Leo. The Cubs are dealing from strength to shore up a weakness while simultaneously building toward the future. Can't argue the Marshall trade too much.

    The Zambrano thing could go both ways. If they are able to trade him and get someone like Chris Volstad, who could eat innings now and then be around for a few years, then I think it's worth eating some money -- maybe not $15M but at least some of it.

  • Here is to wishing luck to Sean Marshall, I enjoyed watching him pitch for the Cubs. Was at a game in Cincinnatti last year, was there very early, and I watched Sean sign autographs for kids along the left field foul line for around 45 minutes. He was engaging them in converstation, asking them why they were Cub fans, where were they from, etc. Just an all around great guy it seemed.
    I think the prospects will be better than you might think, kind we may be able to flip with some addition for Rizzo. Makes no sense for the Padres to hang on to Rizzo. I would rather have him though than Alonso, I find him to be overated.

  • I agree with that. No ill will toward Marshall at all. He's a good guy and I hope he does well for one year and then takes a nice multi-year deal in the AL!

    Hope you're right on the prospects. I'm not holding my breath right now, though.

  • I like the idea floating around that the prospects coming back could be tied to a Marshall extension with the Reds. That's the reason for the delay in the announcement.

    If Marshall gets extended, we would get better prospects in return.

    Here's to hoping for an extension for Marshall and Corcino coming to the Cubs along with Wood.

  • Looks like the two guys we are getting will be Dave Sappelt, and Ronald Torreyes from the Reds for Marshall, reports ESPN's Keith Law (on Twitter).

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