Cubs claim Brett Marshall from the Yankees, lose Liam Hendriks to the Orioles

Cubs claim Brett Marshall from the Yankees, lose Liam Hendriks to the Orioles

The Cubs made a trade of sorts and one they obviously felt was an upgrade.  They claimed Bret Marshall off of waivers but in order to do so, they had to DFA Liam Hendriks.  He was promptly picked up by the Orioles.

Marshall is 23 years old and was the Yankees 6th rated prospect after the 2012 season by Baseball America.  Marshall was a 6th round overslot draft in 2008, receiving $850,000 to sign.

His best season was following that 2012 year when he went 13-7 with a 3.52 ERA (4.09 FIP).  He walked 3.01 hitters per 9 IP (8%), while striking out 6.82/9 IP (18.1%)

Marshall is short at 5'11" (though baseball reference has him at 6'1") but has a solid 200 lbs. frame and a good arm, throwing in the low 90s in the minors, though he averaged in the high 80s in his brief call-up with the Yankees last season.  He compliments his fastball with what is considered the best change-up in the Yankees system.  Marshall once threw much harder, reaching as high as 97 mph at the lower levels but Tommy John surgery has taken some velo from that FB, but it does have more movement now.

Despite his size and a 3/4 arm slot, Marshall keeps the ball low, getting sinking action on both his fastball and change.  He has the potential for good command because he repeats his delivery well, so the potential is there for a bottom of the rotation starter who works efficiently and generates ground balls.

He needs to work on his breaking ball and there isn't a ton of upside with Marshall, as most would consider his ceiling to be as a #4 starter, but he should be in that mix for that #5 starter and if he doesn't he win that spot, he can provide depth at Iowa or perhaps work out of the bullpen, though for me, his potential to be a durable starter make him more interesting in the rotation.  The Cubs must believe that now that he's 4 years removed from TJ surgery he'll be able to sustain his health, though it doesn't seem likely he'll regain his old velocity.

Still some scouts will say that Marshall has the better movement on his fastball and the better chance to stick as a starter than Hendriks did, so in that sense it's an upgrade.


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  • Not sure I like this move. Personal opinion, but I see Hendricks as having the better upside of the two.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    I have to think the Cubs must think otherwise or they wouldn't risk this move -- unless they thought it was worth trying to sneak Hendriks through, knowing that at worst, they'd get a similar pitcher but at best they'd wind up with two arms to compete for that last spot.

    At least one scout likes Marshall better.

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    In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    He looks like a good candidate for success pitching 1/2 of his games in Wrigley.

  • In reply to Andrue Weber:

    Yes, I think he'll fit in well with the Cubs park and their good infield defense.

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    Wow! The Cubs scraped crap off the bottom of one shoe and promptly stepped in a steamy wad of bubble gum with the other.

  • In reply to Randy Michelson:

    Thanks for the insight.

  • Fangraphs has an interesting article on prospects that were overlooked and became successful. No surprise, a lot of cardinal players. Molina, carpenter, craig, jay, and lynn.

    They did have vogelbach and hendricks as 2 guys people are overlooking on the top 100 list who could sleepers.

  • Maybe we can take both of Brett Marshalls names and 2 him into 2 individuals with the same names George Brett and Mike Marshall. Seems like thats about all we c an take out of this. Guy looks like a complete stiff.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Good arm, good stuff, looks to be durable now, 23 years old...and all he costs is a roster spot. Worth finding if you can get an innings eating 5th starter at the league minimum -- and who could potentially fit in long term.

  • I have a feeling that Theo is a big "Six Million Dollar Man" fan......Theo must think that these reconstructed TJ arms can overtake the league.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Your post reminded me of one of my favorite childhood toys. I had a Col. Steve Austin action figure complete with his rocket ship and bionic parts. The skin on his arms were rubber and you could roll them up to replace the parts. You could also look through his magnifying bionic eye.

    I think my next stop is ebay to see if I can find one.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I had that Steve Austin action figure too! And now that show is on cable once in a while. It seemed a lot better when I was 7 years old.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed ...within the last year I bought season 1 of the Six Million Dollar Man on DVD. The 1st couple episodes were horrible. But it is always great remembering the "good old days" of being a child with no responsibility .......makes me wish I was born rich instead of Good Looking !! haha

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I loved that thing. Austin and GI Joe had daily adventures in my back yard. I wonder whatever happened to those old toys. I'm so glad my wife and I saved so many of our kids toys, like my son's complete Jurassic Park collection. Now my son has a son, and soon enough he'll be playing with the dinosaurs.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I remember a store called "Turn Style" at Ford City plaza many years ago that had a very big toy department. I saw all those action items, star wars, star trek, g.i. joe.... ......I was never into playing with action figures......more into trains........but those action figures can bring in good $$$$ if you kept them in the original package.....was at a vintage toy show some time ago.......I saw items for $1,000........Bionic Woman doll....I believe "mint" can bring you around $250.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    That should be past tense, they have already overtaken the league.

    "One-third of current MLB pitchers have had Tommy John surgery. Of the about 360 who started the season, 124 share the all-too-familiar triangular scar. "

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    I'm surprised TJ took that much velo from him. Usually shoulder problems do that not TJ.

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    It is a little surprising. TJ doesn't always benefit everyone, I suppose. I don't think there is anything left in the tank after 4 years of recovery.

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    Not to belittle shay you do john - I think your work is more useful and productive than many people with paid gigs - but this type of move us hardly worth more than one line. I wrote in an earlier thread that these moves are (apart from wright and ruggiano) almost entirely AAA roster filler and DFA fodder, we will not remember most of these names come April and probably not see any of them in a cubs uniform.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    While the Yanks had a bit of a down year, they still felt like this guy deserved a chance (albeit only 12 innings worth) to pitch on the big league squad. All these fillers are important to the future. Take a look at all the little tweaks made to the Red Sox roster before after Theo took over. They've made a ton of under the radar moves like this, and if two of them end up contributing to the roster when we get going, you will not only remember them, you might buy a jersey. These are important moves, as insignificant as they seem right now.

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    In reply to Break The Curse:

    Wake me when any of these guys make it to Clark and Addison. The Red Sox had a real major league team and may have made moves like this (I don't know which specifically you mean) to fill in a hole or two. This is a team that needs wholesale IV infusions of talent, nibbling on the edges like this is truly just playing with the deck chairs on the titanic.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    The 2004 Red Sox World Series team signed David Ortiz to a minor contract after he was released by the Twins. They signed a couple of minor free agents in Pokey Reese (2.5M) and Bill Mueller (2.1M) who eventually won a batting title, starting 2B Mark Bellhorn as part of a minor trade, picked up Kevin Millar and Gabe Kapler for cash considerations. 3rd starter Tim Wakefield was signed as a minor league free agent.

    They all played key roles on that WS team. Theo has done this before with great success. Why would you still think only the marquee signings are important?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I sometimes get the feeling that because Theo hit a grand slam with the Ortiz signing, he's constantly looking to repeat that history. That was a once in a generation stroke of timing and luck, and you're not going to find it in every dumpster dive.
    It's not that in ONLY think the marquee signings are important, I simply see these "upgrades" on a team as globally bad as the Cubs as like treating a gunshot wound with a better brand of neosporin. They are going to be entirely, completely, totally inconsequential to the end product we'll be dissecting next september. This team is not just merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead.
    Theo/Jed have clearly made a decision to tank this season. Fine, I get that, I can live with that. But if you're going to tank anyways, why even bother making these piddly moves? Complete waste of time.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    It wasn't just Ortiz, half of the team was built that way and it bought time for him to build the farm system. Now that Red Sox team is a year in, year out title contender. Why should he change that process to sign past prime FAs? Because guess what? Those 30 and 31 year olds you want them to sign will also be irrelevant (and probably overpaid) by the time the Cubs contend.

    You make these moves because some of them stick, which is what happened with the Red Sox. None of the best Red Sox teams were built with FAs.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why people think signing Ubaldo Jimenez or Nelson Cruz will make the Cubs significantly better than signing multiple 23-28 year olds cheaply to fill in multiple holes. If you find a couple that stick, then that's a huge win over getting a couple of guys who will give you a couple of good years and leave you with less payroll flexibility on the back end of the deal.

    Why do people want to go back to the Hendry plan??

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I don't think anyone is saying that any one of these moves is an extremely significant transaction for the organization as a whole. Nor can anyone realistically believe that any one of these moves is going to be as significant as the Ortiz deal or anything close to that. If anyone is they are kidding themselves. It simply comes down to the Cubs believe that Marshall is better than Hendriks and that is all. If someone becomes available better than Marshall they will do the exact same thing. Should we expect, but that's the great thing about this blog we can read about and discuss these insignificant moves as they happen.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Agreed to a certain extent. But who should they get? Right now, they are filling holes for the future. As far as all of the moves, Theo made a ton with the Red Sox. While I agree that they were a better team, they still made a ton of low risk / high reward moves. Bill Mueller was one that worked out. You are dismissing these moves before letting them pan out. Every one of these moves are low risk and have the chance to work out. I belive they will and therefore are worthy of more than one sentence, as you suggest. Eventually, we'll have a big signing or two to add to this. I am not jumping up and down with each of these signings, so I get your point. I just think there is a common theme to each pick up that will pan out.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    This whole frustration with "minor" signings made me think of a post I wrote over 2 years ago but it still works today. It seems to me that some people don't want Theo Epstein. They want a more saber-friendly version of Jim Hendry.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I love the game at all levels, so for me it's about covering the process and trying to get a feel for what the Cubs are doing and sometimes little moves give you a good idea of what the organization values. Big moves are fun,. but the paid guys cover those guys just fine. Getting deeper into the organization and process is what one thing we do. A lot of these guys are flyers and eventually one of them will work out Luis Valbuena was a waiver wire guy and he's going into his 3rd year as a starter. Ryan Sweeney was a waiver guy and he's going to be a key part of the offense this year. Brian Bogusevic turned out to be a nice player that the Cubs turned into a much needed piece in Ruggiano. So, all of these guys deserve coverage. You never know when they are going to help and even if they don't, you get some insight into the Cubs thought process.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    A belated response, since I've been offline for a few days due to the holiday. But I couldn't let this discussion pass without saying that John's analysis of the minor signings are one of the reasons this site has become one of my primary sources for Cubs news. John does research and gives us information about these lesser known players. The mainstream media just provide a note in passing about some new signing or trade, without any information about who the player is and why the Cubs might have obtained him. I for one appreciate the information John is sharing, and it's something that I come to this site to get. Again, thanks John for all your work!

  • In reply to nccubfan:

    Thank you. I appreciate that.

  • Whether it's Hendricks or Marshall, IDK... But I love the depth they are assembling. Keep picking up these low/no risk arms and one of them will hit big for us.

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I guess I'm just not seeing the QUALITY depth some people are seeing. If Shark gets traded we'll have a rotation of Jackson, Wood and a whole lot of question marks.

    Villanueva would be the next most proven starting pitcher and he has spent his best years as a reliever.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I agree as we keep signing the under radar type players; we are also upgrading on those players too.
    Whether it's someone to replace a Bogusevic, any of our bullpen pitchers, or taking fliers on trades for the future such as; Olt, and so on!!
    Like John has said numerous times, this is what needs to be done at THIS TIME!!
    Keep moving forward in a positive way & spend the money wisely; not foolishly.

  • I don't understand the need to bash John. News is news. This kid Marshall could could surprise some people.

    He has everything you need in a good pitcher other than off the charts velocity. Not everyone has to throw 98 miles per hour or have an off the charts curveball to be successful.

    I would like to see this changeup people are raving about.

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    not bashing john in any way, shape or form. I'm just tired of acting like mice fighting over crumbs.

  • I'm done with downbeat posts for '14.

    On the bright side, I'm very sanguine about the outlook for Kyle Hendricks . I like the stubbornly respectable K rates and talk of velo ticking into low 90's.

    On another note, I feel like we're really going to get a nice lift, beginning this yr from Garza deal. I don't love the process behind how Garza situation was handled but haul was quite impressive. If healthy,Olt should be a core piece. Grimm, people fail to remember, was a top Ranger prospect heading into last season. I think people's perception is unfairly colored by rough major-league audition as a SP. Even Ramirez may prove to be a useful pen piece. We all know about Edwards....

    There is some holiday cheer.....

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    Best part of this move is that at some point I was going to confuse soft-tossing Iowa righty Hendriks with soft-tossing Iowa righty Hendricks, so this solves that problem

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Post of the day, Zonk!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Excellent point :)

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I'm with you, Zonk. Take solace knowing that there will be other opportunities.
    I know I'm going to have to buy a program this year.

  • The main reason people do not like these types of moves is they are frustrated. I can understand that but what are the Cubs to do, stop trying? Not every move can involve a big name or huge amounts of cash.
    A willingness to find success through unconventional means or to sometimes think outside of the box is what I believe separates extremely successful people from the middle of the pack.

  • In reply to JV36:

    Exactly. If being a GM was about overpaying whatever best remaining free agent will come to Chicago then we could all be GMs.

  • For what it's worth, and baseball reference have him listed at 6'1". Where'd you get 5'11" from? Also from a scouting perspective, how much of a difference would those 2 inches make, just curious.'R'&sectionType=career&statType=2&season=2013&level='ALL'

  • In reply to Andrew:

    5'11 was from the report I had on him. The heights and weights from MLB tend to be all over the place but for the player and the guys who scout him, the benefit of being 6' or 6'1" is more psychological. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference if a pitcher knows how to create leverage or can generate the movement on his pitches to make up for it. But if you're a little taller it's generally easier to create downward plane and if you also know how to get good movement and create leverage with your delivery -- and happen to be two inches taller, that is an advantage, no matter how slight.

  • I love these kind of moves. What SKMD and others that bemoan the lack of high profile FA singings by Theo don't see is how those small incremental waiver pickups, minor league contracts, and DFA type trades can turn into acquisitions that are much more valuable.

    The Bogs-Rugg swap is a perfect example... Bogusevic was picked up on a minor league contract and flipped for Ruggiano. With adequate PT I think Ruggs can hit 20 homers next season- and for $1.4M that's serious production.

    Until the Cubs become a team with a better record, they need to play the advantage they have on waivers to the hilt, and Marshall looks like he's worth the roster spot for now.

  • Baseball Reference has him at 6' 2"....

    Maybe because he doesn't play in his socks.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    There isn't a whole lot of reliability with any of these MLB heights and weights. I suspect they're often manipulated upward with height and perhaps downward with weight.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Downward with weight?? I never do that. Never.

  • In reply to Quedub:


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    Well it's coming right along. I remember how most folks just gave the huge nod of agreement when Theo told us about the rebuild. How it was going to have to be built from the ground up. A bunch of bobble heads just shaking up and down.....

    Yes....Yes....Yes..... "That's what we need Theo", they cried!

    I'm just surprised those fans that now have pitchforks out in the streets hunting Theo down took this long to act.

    Which leads me to my next thought. There are many out there that really think Baez and Bryant will be brought up next season by mid year. Others should be right behind that such as Alcantara.

    We are talking about one more year folks. Spots need to be made available and not only does signing big name FA take up space but the are another financial nightmare waiting to happen.

    It's always darkest before the dawn.............

  • We all know this is the go-to place for any Cubs news, so that shouldn't be a comment topic. I also prefer the Cubs FO grinding it out, as opposed to giving up or looking for short cuts. Anything is better than nothing.

  • Levine said they wanted to keep Hendricks and they almost got him through waivers but he was claimed at the very end by the orioles. He also said they will also try and sneak Marshall through waivers in hopes he will start the season in aaa. Hopefully we can sneak Marshall through he looks at the very least a possible bullpen arm. Levine also said the Cubs are looking at Jessee Crain's medical reports. He would be a nice addition if healthy. Bullpen could be a strength this year.

  • In reply to Mick:

    Thanks for the info Mick. I would think that if the Cubs do sign anybody Marshall will be the guy who goes on waivers to make room.

  • Would rather have hendriks than marshall, would rather have Surkamp than either one of them.

  • In reply to SVAZCUB:

    I like Surkamp as well, but he might have been claimed before the Cubs had a chance to nab him.

  • In reply to Mick:

    Given that the White Sox claimed him, then yes, the Cubs wouldn't have had a chance to.

  • MEH!

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