When the Chicago Cubs traded Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds earlier this offseason (for Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes), it was bittersweet. On the one hand, Marshall’s talent – he is, perhaps, the best left-handed reliever in baseball – would probably have been squandered in 2012 in Chicago, which was his last year before free agency. On the other hand, he was the consummate team player, and a great one, at that. It was sad to see him go.

Some folks steeled themselves with thoughts that “at least Marshall could return to the Cubs in 2013,” you know, when the team was ready to be good. It was always a bit more of a sweet thought than a practical one (Marshall was going to cost a pretty penny, and is the kind of luxury that the new management seems unlikely to splurge on).

Well, it ain’t happening. The Reds have been working on an extension for Marshall for a little while now, and according to John Fay, the deal is done. Marshall gets a three-year extension, and is now under Reds control through 2015. The deal is for a total of $16.5 million, and comes with $2 million in possible incentive money each season, according to Ken Rosenthal. Those incentives contemplate Marshall closing games, *OR* starting them. Interesting.

On the balance, it’s a decent deal for both sides. Marshall gets life-changing money, and, in exchange, accepts maybe slightly less than he would have received on the open market. Still, it seems like a lot of money to pay for three years on a team like the Reds, who aren’t expect to have a huge payroll during that span.

The best of luck to Sean, at least when he’s not facing the Cubs. Or, well, in a division race with the Cubs.

  • TonyP

    Well piss

    • SirCub

      And poo

  • ThosKam

    Am i just hallucinating or was there a ptbnl in that deal? Thought maybe the quality of the player changed if Marshall signed an extension… Or maybe im just making the whole thing up….

    ****edit ***
    Pretty sure i’m on crack – A quick google returns no such information.. ah well.. nothing to see here .. move along…

  • Noah

    While I wish Sean the best, it’s rare that a long term deal like this for a reliever really works out. It’s not too much money per year, but I’d prefer the Cubs just never give a reliever a contract for more than 2 years, unless it’s a buying out their last few years of arbitration plus first free agent year at a bargain type of deal.

    Although if Marshall does end up starting for the Reds, this could end up being a great deal for them.

    • butlerdawgs

      I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Don’t forget who their manager is.

  • RoughRiider

    I didn’t like trading Marshall in the first place and even less now. I had hoped that when he became a free agent that the Cubs would reaquire him. NGH

    I wish him well as long as he isn’t playing against the Cubs.

    • truebluecubbie

      I feel the same way as you do. The worst part is that he is still in the division.

      • Turn Two

        He is a relief pitcher, I think we’ll get over it. Travis Wood for Sean Marshall was a steal for a team that is “building”.

  • ferrets_bueller

    No big deal.

  • SirCub

    I’d love to see Marshall get a shot to start games again. Hate to see it in that ugly red uniform, though.

  • rocky8263

    A listener on the Score was watching Rizzo hit 6 consecutive home runs off Sutcliffe during batting practice today. One especially monsterous was estimated over 450 feet. Sutcliffe commented that he wasn’t the first one to take him that deep. B. Jackson was also seen crushing the ball today. I wish we had some video.

    • DocWimsey

      Rizzo will do great against the Astros, then….. 8)

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    I wonder how this one will work out for team Thoyer!
    What if he comes back to Wrigley all psyched up and has something to prove??
    The term “Cubs Killer” comes to mind.
    Of course Dawgs is right, they do have Dusty as their manager.
    (whew, I almost forgot that).
    Not to worry.

    • Frank

      Ahhh–“In Dusty We Trust(y)” — Some things never change.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Oh. God.
        Not…not that.

        I was almost embarrassed to call myself a Cubs’ fan after that stupid saying came along. And to think, some dumbass actually tried to trademark THAT.

        • Frank

          Hard to believe–but I think it works better now that he’s out of town, and we can trust him to mess things up elsewhere.

  • Deez

    I wish Marshall the best as well. I think he could’ve gotten a better deal on the open market (one man’s opinion).
    My only question w/ this article is “Who really thinks we’ll be THAT GOOD in 2013?!”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Cubs should be contending for the Wild Card in 2013, at worst.  I’d not be at all surprised to see them in the hunt for the division.  When Jackson and Rizzo come up, I think the team defense will be strong enough to make the Cubs one of the best in the division in that category.  Add two very good starting pitchers and the Cubs are in business.  And since the 2012 free agent class is heavy on pitching and the Cubs will have a mountain of cash available, I don’t think it is a stretch to think that they can add a couple of very good starting pitchers.

      I’ll admit, the offense worries me somewhat.  It only has to be good enough, though.  On team with built around pitching and defense, a league average offense should be enough to compete in a not-great NL Central.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I love 3 year deals for relief pitchers; as long as they are not for the Cubs.

    • ferrets_bueller


  • Steve

    I have to wonder why Sean would have “something to prove” against the Cubs. We drafted and developed him. We did right by Sean and I would have to assume that he has no hard feelings.
    Now, Milton Bradley on the other hand….

  • Polar Bear

    Didn’t know this until I saw a photo the other day…Sappelt actually made his major league debut against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. There is a screened print of Wrigley at the local Walmart and his name is on the scoreboard. Thought that would be a cool tie-in with him being involved the Marshall trade.

  • Dante Hicks

    Good thing he got it guaranteed. With Dusty is manager who knows how long that arm lasts. I hope well, love the kid and always have..

  • die hard

    I loved the way he competed each pitch but if the Cubs let the big hook go he could be had on his other stuff. Will be interesting to see if Soto can take him deep often as he obviously knows hoe he tries to set up hitters. As to Soto, MLB hot stove rated top 10 catchers and he fell to around 15-20. There are lots of good catchers in the league and so nobody will want to trade for him except as a back-up.

  • Jojo

    Always liked Marshall. Never complained. Pitched set-up. Closed whenever called upon. Would’ve started if they asked. Gave it all…everytime.
    I do understand where the Cubs are now and why they decided to trade him. My questions for Theo would be:
    Why did you trade him within the division? You’re gonna see him multiple times during the next three years and he’s gonna chop your guys down just like he used to do for us.
    The guy is a gem. Couldn’t you have received more in exchange? Wood is a work in progress. I know there’s talk about the young infielder received from the Reds, but the kid supposedly weighs 135 lbs and is another young kid you took “on the come.”
    So trading Marshall, due to the current circumstances? A reluctant “OK.”
    Trading Marshall to the Reds…for what your received? Not priceless. Not good. Not even close.

  • Travis

    I heard this deal might have taken some money away from the Reds signing Votto. Even if Rizzo has a solid year, do you guys think Theo an Co will go after Votto? He seems to be one of those players that doesn’t come to free agency very often.

  • T Larson

    not a chance

  • die hard

    Comments out of Tigers camp indicate that 3B is not settled. What if Leyland stops the Cabrera experiment after the 10th spring training game? Then what? Do they begin taking offers for him? Not out of the question as his best years could be behind him. But if the Cubs are still not sold on long terming Garza, one would think that the Tigers would salivate at the idea of adding Garza to the staff. Garza and Stewart to play 3B for Cabrera? He would fill the stands and could help Soriano by protecting him or vice versa. At least losing 100 games wont be boring.

    • DocWimsey

      Of course not: the Tigers are going for it this year: they are not going to trade an OPS machine in his prime! If Miggy doesn’t star at 3rd, then he DHs. With VMart on the shelf, that might make the most sense (unless they signed some else and I have forgotten…)

    • CubFan Paul

      The Tigers want a LH starter

    • ferrets_bueller

      you’ve really outdone yourself on this one. Wow.