By now you are aware that Sean Marshall to the Reds has gone from rumor to being officially a done deal. The name everyone knew that was coming back from the Reds was Travis Wood. What was also known was that two minor league players were also included. While a good chunk of Cubs fans quickly disapproved of the trade considering Marshall is one of the best left handed relievers in all of baseball, honestly judging the deal can only occur once all the information is provided.
As Jordan mentioned in a prior post, the hope was that the Cubs might acquire some quality prospects to flip in a package deal for Anthony Rizzo of the Padres, or at the very least have a couple more young pieces to stock the farm system. Earlier this afternoon, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune passed along the names of the two other now ex Reds joining Wood on the North Side.
Dave Sappelt is an outfielder that got his feet wet at the Major League level with the Reds last season, appearing in 38 games. While his numbers in limited action will not excite Cubs fans right away, he has hit for average with some pop, and he had climbed his way up the Reds system each season from rookie ball in 2008 to split action in the Majors and AAA in 2011. He took advantage of a Spring Training invite last year to force his way onto the roster.
Ronald Torreyes is an undersized infielder that Rogers wonders if Theo Epstein sees in the mold of Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox. Torreyes just started pro ball in 2010 and is only 19 years old, so the final judgment on Torreyes and even this trade for Marshall may not be determined for another few years.
Sappelt figures to be blocked at the Major League level with veterans Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Reed Johnson already on the 25 man roster as right handed outfielders. Even the fifth outfielder role has competition in Tony Campana and Bryan LaHair, and the first choice call up if needed would figure to be Brett Jackson if at least a platoon role opens up as the season goes along. Worst case scenario, Sappelt is a safety net for outfield depth that can be stashed away in Triple A if someone gets hurt, or if the front office does end up dealing away Soriano or Byrd.
There should be some concern with Torreyes being undersized, as he could easily be the next right handed Mike Fontenot rather than a Pedroia. Cubs fans have seen this show before in Ryan Theriot and Fontenot; scrappy infielders that find ways to get on base. While those traits should not be overlooked, as both former Cubs have gone on to contribute to World Series winning teams in each of the last two seasons, it also is not the player mold that excites fans at Wrigley right off the bat.
Marshall figured to have more trade value than this, but it appears the deal will mostly be judged on whether Wood becomes a key part of the future Cubs rotation, and how Torreyes comes along. That is unless any of these players end up being flipped in another trade.
The trade with the Reds was not the only transaction that made its way into the news the last couple days. The Cubs have also agreed to terms with right handed reliever Manny Corpas. Baseball fans may recall the name from the dominating 2007 season he had while contributing to the amazing run the Rockies made from late in the season all the way to the World Series. So far he has been a one hit wonder though, as he has struggled in each year since before an arm injury forced him to miss all of last season.
The financial information of the deal have yet to be released, but the one year agreement figures to allow Corpas to try to get back his 2007 form while adding depth to the Cubs bullpen that is now sans Marshall. This should not effect the mutual hope of a Kerry Wood return in 2012, but will allow even more flexibility for the new front office to keep their ears open on Carlos Marmol trade offers. Corpas does have closing experience, along with Wood, and the slightly unsettled closing situation that would occur if Marmol were dealt would not be as big as a concern with contention hopes tempered for the coming season.
Tags: Alfonso Soriano Anthony Rizzo Brett Jackson Bryan LaHair Carlos Marmol Chicago Cubs Dave Sappelt Kerry Wood Manny Corpas Marlon Byrd Reed Johnson Ronald Torreyes Sean Marshall Tony Campana Travis Wood