Earlier this off season Theo Epstein was quoted as calling Sean Marshall one of the best left handed relievers in baseball. With that any Cubs trade rumors involving the Cubs centered around cashing in on Matt Garza’s trade value or trying to dump Carlos Zambrano on another team. But tonight Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Cubs and division rival Reds are in serious trade talks involving Marshall and apparent odd man out starter Travis Wood.
Wood had a good rookie season showing, going 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA, including tallying his first win in his Major League debut against our very own Chicago Cubs. He had a bit of a sophomore slump last season, which saw his ERA jump to 4.84 and a return stint to the minors, where he did not fair much better.
However, as the second overall pick in the in the 2005 draft and left handed starter, Wood figures to still have a chance to fulfill his potential, as he is still just 24 years old. He would also be under team control for another five years and would provide the Cubs rotation of the future a lefty arm to mix in with names like Garza, Andrew Cashner, and Trey McNutt.
The Reds appear to be overstocked in the rotation after their trade for Mat Latos. Cincinnati is now looking to bolster their bullpen, and while Marshall has been the most solid and consistent arm in the pen over the last few seasons, the new Cubs front office’s seems to be willing to part ways know with the veteran lefty approaching age 30 and a year away from free agency.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago is reporting the deal is real close to going through, and the Reds would also include two additional minor league prospects. I hesitate to warm up to this trade, not only because of Marshall’s value to the Cubs pen, but because you have to wonder what quality the players being sent back to the Cubs will have, considering the Reds probably dealt their best package of players to the Padres for Latos.
With the most recent Cubs rumors implying more and more that 2012 will most likely be an unspoken rebuilding year, it would make sense for Chicago to cash in on Marshall’s trade value now. If Epstein and Jed Hoyer are able to set the roster up to seriously contend in 2013 and beyond, the Cubs could always look into resigning Marshall once he hits free agency with their prospect haul from the Reds to boot, assuming the lefty does not sign an extension with the Reds upon being traded.
Stay tuned to Cubbies Crib as this trade rumor further develops.