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Bruce Levine, who first reported the trade talks between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds centering on Sean Marshall and Travis Wood, now says the deal – which includes two prospects coming the Cubs’ way – is done, pending a physical of the four players involved.

Levine isn’t sure when the deal will be formally announced, or when the names of the other players involved will be named. Obviously we’ll have more on the deal when it’s finalized, and on the prospects when they’re named. They’re pretty much the swing pieces that could take this deal from “just ok” to “pretty great.”

Here are my thoughts on Wood and on dealing Marshall from earlier today. The short version on Wood and Marshall, specifically:

Marshall, as discussed yesterday, is a free agent after this year, in which he’ll make just over $3 million. For one of the clear best relievers in the game, he’s a bargain. That he should net the Cubs a very good return goes without saying. And, to be fair, given his role and contract situation, trading him doesn’t necessary signal an imminent dive bomb into the 2012 season.

As for the return on Marshall, Wood makes an interesting centerpiece. A lefty with just one year of service time, Wood debuted in 2010, and put up a 116 ERA+ in a half season at age 23. He had a 3.51 ERA and a strikingly good 1.081 WHIP that year, with a 3.31 K/BB ratio. He couldn’t keep it up in 2011, though. In another half year, his ERA ballooned to 4.84, his WHIP to 1.491, his walk rate went up, and his K rate went down. The Reds’ trade for Mat Latos this weekend made Wood expendable, if he was even going to crack the rotation at all in 2012.

Drafted by the Reds in 2005 in the second round out of high school, Wood, who will turn 25 in February, was a consistently good minor league pitcher as he worked his way through the Reds’ system. Until his 2011 hiccup – not only did he regress in his time in the big leagues, he struggled at AAA – Wood had the look of the kind of pitching prospect you’d be thrilled to get for Sean Marshall. In that regard, he certainly makes sense as a “buy low” candidate for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. The kind of player they say they like to target.

  • Yeold17

    Was it travis wood who got caught stealing shirts from a store?

    • Rick Vaughn

      I wish. Nope, it was Mike Leake

  • bluePinstripes

    That was Mike Leake

  • J.B. House

    Wood is now a Cub and as of now the only lefty starter we have, so he is automatically my favorite lefty starter in all of baseball. My comment was made simply because i was hoping for a little more than Webb and Coddington appear to be.

  • gary

    is cashner going to be a starter next year.

  • Oswego Chris

    keep hearing conflicting reports on who the prospects are…if they are top 20 material(which I doubt)..then I love it…as is, I like what Brett said about it being “fair”…just saw Kaplan on TV (dressed like a complete dork) saying we could have gotten more…if you look at Wood this way….35 career starts 208 IP 166 K’s 11-10  with 4.15 ERA and he doesn’t turn 25 until Feb…that’s not a bad body of work as a 24 year old…I would hate it as a Red’s fan because I don’t like to give up on young lefties because sometimes they don’t get it  until 27 or 28…I didn’t look at his home/road splits but I do know that park is a launching pad…

    overall I give it a mild thumbs up….with huge upside

  • Rick Vaughn

    I have to assume Reds fans like the deal. After getting Latos, Wood became something like their 7th best starter, right? Sean Marshall (and I’m pretty sure, but not certain this is right) was 2nd among relief pitchers in WAR last season.

    I like it as a Cubs fan because Sean Marshall does nothing for us on a team that will probably be looking at 90 losses. Wood could at least keep Casey Coleman out of the rotation, and that’s all I’m looking forward to this season. Less Casey Coleman.

    • Rick Vaughn

      My bad, looks like he was 3rd in WAR, but still, Reds fans should be very happy getting a top notch setup man for whoever they sign to close.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        He may even be the closer if they can’t find anyone else

  • BetterNews

    I just find it “very” suprising, with everything that is going on, nobody is saying anything about the vacant 3rd base situation. Is it just me?

    • Rick Vaughn

      Didn’t we trade for Ian Stewart to play 3rd? If this is a rebuilding team, I think a 26 year old who had 3 solid years followed by a down year would be the perfect guy to bring in to play 3rd.

      • BetterNews

        See, now I thought Stewart was going to 2nd to replace Barney and Cubs would be shopping for a 3rd baseman.

  • ty

    If the redlegs Walt Jocketty calls to deal throw your phone in a bucket of water and run like hell.

  • Rick Vaughn
  • OHBearCub

    I live in Dayton. I hate the reds…. This Travis Wood better be a stud. Every jerk weed that works for me is going to stock it to me I’d hope Wood wins at least 15 games for us.

    Only cuz I hate.the reds.. I don’t wish anything bad for Sean Marshall other than giving up grand slam to the cubs first time we see him. Then I can talk some shit

    • Rick Vaughn

      I’ll drink to that.

  • R.I.P. Santo

    well now I don’t have to worry about retiring my We got Wood shirt. Hopefully we can get one that says “We got Double Wood” or something catchy along that line

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      As fans were going to have to start referring to Travis Wood as either TWood or NewWood, because if Kerry comes back its going to get confusing. I hope they don’t make Kerry put “K. Wood” on his jersey.

      • JasonB

        I say we get Mike Quade to come up with his nickname for us

        • Rick Vaughn

          T-Woody is the best Quade could come up with, I promise.

  • jim

    Think jocketty will sign ankiel or ludwick?

  • tex134

    How bout we got more Wood

  • jim

    Does this mean i wont have to watch maholm or francis?

    • Rick Vaughn

      That was one of my first thoughts.

  • Josem14

    I’m sorry….but I’m not following what these guys are doing. I just don’t understand this deal along with others they have made. They go sign a 32 yr old outfielder who’s only going to take ABs away from Jackson. Then they trade a 25 yrd old outfielder with a 20 HR season on his resume AND a promising young utilitiy hitter for a similar aged struggling young hitter.

    Now we give up an asset that we would certainly get a good deal if we waited until the season started.

    Are we rebuilding or trying to win now? These moves are confussing and I’m not real confident in what I’m seeing so far. Either strip the thing down and give kids a chance to play or put a team on the field that has a chance….especially the way the division looks now.

    • ferrets_bueller

      The Reed Johnson signing has no impact on whether we’re trying to win now or not. I’d be willing to bet he’d end up playing here regardless- he’s a backup OF, and a good example for young players. No matter what you’re doing, you want guys like that. He’s not really going to take ABs away from anyone, at all.
      Colvin was never going to be an above average major league starter. LeMathiu wasn’t anything more than a nice utility guy. What you got back was a 3B who is equal in the immediate present to Colvin, with the potential to become much, much more that Colvin ever would be, possibly immediately. Plus a great raw arm. You got slightly better in the short run, with the potential to get much better in the long run. Again, nothing confusing there- it would have been a great move regardless of whether you’re playing for now or the future.

      All three of these moves make the Cubs better both now, and potentially in the future.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Absolutely! How do you not like having Reed Johnson on the team? You really think he’ll take at bats away from Brett Jackson? In fact, I’m PRAYING he takes at bats away from Soriano. When the team feels Jackson is ready, he’ll play. Reed had problems with his health last year, everyone knows he’s not an everyday player because of it. But he did play very well when he was in. I don’t understand the argument against him.

        As far as Colvin, I loved the guy, I hate to see him go, but he was about as bad at the plate last year as I’ve ever seen in the major leagues. Ian Stewart had OPS at or slightly below .800 for three years in his early 20’s. Not great, but promising. He had a bad year, but he could rebound and fills a giant hole at the hot corner. Seems like the perfect stopgap for Vitters/Baez/BlahBlahBlah. Change of scenery could benefit both those guys.

    • Jim

      “Now we give up an asset that we would certainly get a good deal if we waited until the season started.”

      Marshall could just as well have fallen off his last two seasons and been less valuable. Relievers are kind of volatile, even though he is a lefty, I think it was a good deal and about time this team trades a player when his value is high.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    White Sox just extended John Danks, five years, $65 million (one year of arbitration in there, four free agent years). It’s a decent deal for the White Sox, and Danks is only 26, but, like … rebuilding? What exactly is their plan?

    This will have an interesting impact on Garza. Could the Cubs use that contract as a benchmark for trying to extend Garza on a favorable deal? Then again, it takes Danks off the market (probably), which helps the market for Garza.

    • Lou

      I think it definitely will Brett. You called it–if some here are wondering what the Cubs are doing, you really gotta wonder about the White Sox. Trade your cheap closer but then sign your #1 starter to an extension. Huh? Maybe this means Floyd’s available but not near the value of Garza. I think Garza will depend on Gio Gonzalez. He seems to be next. I think, unfortunately, if he goes to the Nationals, Fielder will follow. Ok, for some, not so unfortunate. I think Toronto’s our best shot because with the Padres, it still would have to be a three team trade. That kind of trade is difficult to pull off.

  • Josem14

    I wish we would have jumped on the deal the Padres got for Latos using Garza. You get a potential trading chip in Volquez for next year’s trading season plus a future all star first baseman….not to mention a couple of other potential major leaguers.

  • czechxican

    hoping that 2011 majors record was just a sophomore slump for Wood, HOWEVER- the fact that he struggled even when back in the minors is a kind of a little alarming

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I could spin it the other way, if I were so inclined – struggling in AAA suggests last year was a mechanical or health issue, rather than the big leagues “figuring him out.”

      • Kyle

        Honestly, I think it was just bad BABIP luck. His peripherals were all fine last year at both levels.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I hope so. I get a little nervous ascribing bad years to BABIP for young, relatively unestablished pitchers – that is to say, I worry that the high BABIP was the result of guys really squaring him up in his second go-around. His line drive percentage was up 1% from 21.4% to 22.4% – I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know what’s “normal,” or whether a 1% increase (which, relatively speaking, was more like a 5% increase) is worth noting.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Just did some flipping around at FanGraphs. Looks like a 1% increase is actually fairly substantial.

          • Kyle

            A 1% increase in line drives, almost by definition, can’t have more than a .010 increase in BABIP.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              That’s a good way of thinking about it. And, given how narrow the band of line drive percentages are (almost all pitchers are clustered between about 16% and 23%), that further suggests that BABIP is as much about luck as we tend to believe it is. Good stuff.

      • JasonB

        Agree Brett – he’s young enough that you have to look at the aggregate track record, which is pretty good.  As I mentioned in a post earlier today, the only red flag I have is that he’s always been a fly ball pitcher – Wrigley isn’t exactly a pitcher’s park in the summertime.

  • Rick Vaughn

    Great deal for the Sox. I’ve been trying to find a list of potential 2014 free agents. I’m assuming Garza is near the top. He’ll cash in CJ Wilson style.

  • kinhin

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Neftali Soto as one of the minor leaguers coming back in the trade.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t think anyone would mind that …

      … except the Reds. :)

      • kinhin

        Hey. You never know :p
        The highest I’ve seen him ranked is 14 in their system.

  • Eric

    WE GOT WOOD! Nobodies said that yet? Come ON people.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      We already had Wood.

  • ferrets_bueller

    We’ve got so much Wood, we don’t know what to do with it.

    • JasonB

      We now have so much Wood, we could be on Viagara.

      • ferrets_bueller

        We’ve now had Wood for more than 4 hours!!

        • JasonB

          Brett – we’re working on 2013 t-shirt slogans here

  • Dukie11

    Seems to be a sign. Management went out of their way early on to say Marshall was the best lefty reliever in the game, then they trade him. They have spoken very highly of Garza and Zambrano in the same way leading to some speculation that we would be rebuilding around 1 good starting pitcher and giving Z his 15th shot. Seems more likely we are trying to get them as highly thought of as possible, letting the market mature and trading them off. We can get a lot of Travis Wood-like talent for Garza, Zambrano, Marmol, Soto, Byrd, etc. Some of the Woods will work out and some wont. Meanwhile we are signing Reed Johnsons, Paul Maholms and Jason Variteks to keep the pro team interesting while the youngsters mature. When the kids are ready noone will feel bad about telling Jason Varitek he will be a veteran backup.

  • curt

    am i the only one whos dissapointed in this trade, this reeks of jim hendry like work, why didnt we offer marshall 2 the yankees or redsox, just seems like we coul;d have held the reds up for more than wood, and a couple filler prospects, i mean come on for a dominant lefty out of the pen, guess im expecting more out of theo n company, holding out hope for a bigger picture like fielder or something like that, look at whats been done so far a 3b (stewart) who may or may not be able 2 hit a borderline outfielder who may or may not be able 2 hit, i hope it gets better than this, bc its going 2 be hard doing it through the draft, and thats how theos model worked before, withholding judgement until something good actually happens, and ill be extremely dissapointed if lahair is opening day first baseman

    • Dukie11

      This is what rebuilding looks like. We signed some of the best scouts in baseball to tell us who would and would not succeed. Wood does not look like much to us, but our people think he is and they have proven to be pretty good at pegging which young players fit the bill.

    • Martin

      Do you really think the Cubs didn’t offer Marshall to the Red Sox or Yankees? Seriously?

      The market determines what you can get for a player. If that’s what they got, my guess is that its the best deal they could get.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The Cubs wouldn’t have dealt him in-division unless it was their favorite option by a fair margin. They shopped Marshall around, no doubt about it.

        • Dukie11

          Not to mention a young lefty starter locked in long term and noted for being tough minded is never a bad deal.

  • NL_Cubs

    Just sittin’ back, watching the moves come slow and steady. The Boyz are planning their work and working their plan. Steady as she goes Boyz!

  • Addie’s Daddy

    Uhm. . . is there any concern that our new pitcher was under the watchful eye of Dr. Andrew’s favorite manager, Dusty?!?!?

    any insights how he was used (or overused)

  • Dukie11

    He’s not a power pitcher and was not one of Dusty’s go to guys. Outside of the near perfect game, looks like he was more of a 6 inning guy. I think we should be more concerned with poor Sean Marshall. Dusty will love a dominant lefty in the pen.

  • Jannenga

    Short Bus………Is that what you try to pass off as funny……You like losing for 3yrs and you think I’m from the short but………I don’t except losing….why don’t you change the name of this place to we suck theo’s dick and like losing,,,,,,,,,,,But I wil actually ask one person on here to answer this Real Question that i have………Lets say for the sake of the question Theo trades off every single piece and after 3yrs of being in last place his plan doesn’t work and in the mean time people are not showing up to wrigley because they are not now and when people who actually have season tickets like I did for 33yrs quit going because fans are quitting going and the cubs will have all this money in there account because they make tons and are not spending any like you want them to not for 3yrs so my question is who is the big name Free Agent they go get that get them a championship? because every Big name FA is locking up now for 7 and 8yrs………Who do they go get? because Rizzo if he is good can’t do it alone……..

    • BetterNews

      Janne—Go change your tampon!

    • cubs4life

      ok janne, do you like just copy and paste your posts??? i think ive read 3or 4 of them and the all say the same thing….. we get what your saying already…. theo wasnt brought here to win a WS this year, and i dont think anyone here believes it will be in the next couple years… you dont build a championship team without a farm system.. and you cant build a championship team with nothing but free agents. Theo has to build this team from the ground up, and not just put a band-aid on it by spending money like hendry has done over the past few years..

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Friends please ignore this, we’ve hassled “it” enough, “it” isn’t going to change, and if we keep feeding “it” the insanity and ridiculous punctuation will only continue. Sorry Jan but your post read like a poorly educated, schizophrenic, and irrational individual. Please write coherent phrases, stop misusing punctuation, and be rational and you can and will recieve rational discussions. Until then IGNORE fellow posters this is now TIRESOME.

  • ferrets_bueller

    The Cubs should send the Reds Sean Marshall’s twin brother. The Reds will never know!

    • Rick Vaughn

      BRIAN!!!!!!

  • Rick Vaughn

    Cubs were 4th in attendance last season. Over 3 million people showed up for the 8th straight year.

    But, yes the short bus comment made me chuckle.

    I know you don’t “except” losing, nor do most people “accept” losing either. But going ape shit on a message board and acting like a poorly raised 12 year old with emotional issues isn’t going to help anything. Relax sweetheart, it’s going to be okay. Win or lose, things will be okay.

    Lots of people share your opinion that the way to get better is spend money on the biggest free agents, no matter how poor this particular class is. But don’t lose your sanity when anyone says something you disagree with. It’s very childish.

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