The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds have agreed in principle to a four-player deal that will send Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. The Cubs will receive lefty starter Travis Wood and two minor leaguers in exchange for Marshall, and the deal is pending physicals.
Marshall, 29, has spent his entire career with the Cubs. Once a starter, Marshall was converted to relief full-time in 2010 and immediately broke out as one of the top relievers in the National League. Over the past two seasons, Marshall has posted a 2.45 ERA over 150 innings. His 5.0 WAR figure over that time period is the highest WAR of any reliever in the game, according to FanGraphs.
It's unclear who the Cubs will receive at this point other than Wood, a 25-year-old lefty pitcher that's split the past two seasons between Cincinnati and Triple-A. He posted a 4.84 ERA in 106 innings with the Reds in 2011, but was much better in 102 innings with the Reds in 2010, posting a 3.51 ERA in that stint. His fastball generally sits in the upper 80's to lower 90's, but he has a good mix of pitches.
Whether the Cubs decide to place Wood in the rotation or try him out in the bullpen is uncertain, but their desire to add some cost-controlled pitching is understandable.
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