The Chicago Cubs are discussing a deal with the Cincinnati Reds involving left-handed relief pitcher Sean Marshall, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The duo adds that the Cubs appear to be targeting Reds starter Travis Wood in the deal, which makes some sense given Chicago's need for starting pitching.
Marshall, 29, is one of Chicago's best players. Although Carlos Marmol is the team's closer, Marshall has been a dominant reliever over the past two years, posting a 2.45 ERA in 150 innings with equally impressive peripheral statistics. He's only under team control for one more season, but he's a top-notch arm so the Cubs have some value to offer here.
It's unclear exactly who would be going to the Cubs in a deal, but Wood is a reasonable possibility. The 24-year-old lefty has spent the past two years split between Cincinnati and Triple-A, with career ERA marks of 4.18 in 208 MLB innings and 3.67 in 201 Triple-A innings, respectively. He doesn't have overpowering stuff but could emerge as a cheap, useful back-of-the-rotation starter for Chicago in the short-term.
Marshall would give the Reds another quality arm for their bullpen, which may not have Aroldis Chapman next season if his conversion to the starting rotation is successful. With Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake around, not to mention Chapman, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that Wood is available. He could fit into a Cubs rotation that currently projects to include Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner and Carlos Zambrano.
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