Waiver Swap: Cubs Pick Up Brett Marshall, Lose Liam Hendriks

brett marshall yankeesToday, the Chicago Cubs picked up another young pitcher on the waiver wire, Brett Marshall from the Yankees. Marshall was the roster victim of the Carlos Beltran signing, and the Cubs are the benefactor.* In what proved to be a corresponding move, the Cubs lost young pitcher Liam Hendriks – himself a recent waiver wire pickup – on waivers to the Orioles.

*(Among the small, small upsides of being a downtrodden team like the Cubs: since you aren’t loading up your roster with free agent signings in November and December, you have your pick of the litter from teams that do grab a bunch of free agents, and are then forced to make tough roster decisions with guys like Marshall. Two years ago, the Yankees had to make a similar tough 40-man choice about a certain lefty having a lot of success on the South Side of Chicago right now (Jose Quintana).)

Marshall, 23, was listed by many as a top ten prospect in the Yankees’ system coming into 2013. Although that probably says as much about the state of the Yankees’ farm system as it does about Marshall’s talent, he’s definitely an intriguing arm. An overslot signee out of high school back in 2008, Marshall had Tommy John surgery shortly after joining the Yankees’ organization. After a drama-free recovery, Marshall reached High-A at age 20, and pitched well at AA at 22. That’s when he really had the prospect buzz going, but a down year in 2013 at AAA – 5.13 ERA, 1.1 HR/9, 4.4 BB/9 – tamped things down a bit. Still, his K/9 increased – 7.8 per 9, from a career mark around 7 entering the season – and the Yankees gave him a look early in the year as a fill-in starter, and then late in the year out of the pen (the samples are too small to really make much out of). For his minor league career, Marshall has a 4.07 ERA and a 2.10 K/BB.

Marshall was added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster last year to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, which means he comes with a nice side bonus: two remaining option years. If he doesn’t make the Cubs in Spring Training, he can simply be optioned to Iowa to continue working there. Presumably, despite the brief stint in the New York bullpen last year, Marshall remains a starter. He’ll fight for the Cubs’ open 5th starter spot in the Spring.

Although it’s from mid-2012, you can read this piece from MiLB.com about Marshall and what he throws. The righty is listed at 6’1″, 195 lbs, so he’s well built.

In losing Hendriks to gain Marshall, the Cubs appear to have swapped similar stories – 23/24-year-old righties with good prospect pedigrees and a questionable ability to contribute at the big league level – but landed on the guy with more upside. I was unabashedly in favor of the Hendriks pickup, but I like the Marshall pickup even more. Marshall is a year younger, throws a little harder, and appears to have better swing-and-miss stuff. If you’re taking a no-risk gamble on a kid whom you can stash, you might as well take the one with higher upside.

It’s worth noting that it’s possible that the Cubs didn’t want to swap Marshall for Hendriks, and were instead merely trying to see if Hendriks would clear waivers so they could try and outright him to Iowa. Given that Hendriks made it all the way up the ladder to the Orioles suggests they came close. C’est la vie.

I’ve got the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 39 after the swap (further indicating that the Cubs didn’t have to swap one for the other if they weren’t hoping to stash Hendriks – they could have simply kept both on the 40-man until a spot was needed (though that was coming soon, with Jose Veras’ deal pending an official announcement)). Perhaps we’ll see the Cubs try to pass Marshall through waivers, too, allowing them to send him to AAA Iowa without taking up a 40-man spot.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

95 responses to “Waiver Swap: Cubs Pick Up Brett Marshall, Lose Liam Hendriks”

  1. Steve R

    I like this guy better than I did Hendriks. I think he will give us a little more depth, and who knows maybe he puts it together, whatever happens he’s a young arm with some upside. I really hope the Tanaka saga gets worked out sooner rather than later so we can go ahead and trade Shark. I like trades with either Baltimore or Toronto. We could possibly get a major league OF and some arms and both have some intriguing arms we could target if we do in fact add a major league OF in the deal, which I really hope we do. We need help offensively and if we could get say Colby Rasmus in the deal along with some arms we should jump on it quickly. One can hope anyway.

  2. Edwin

    For what it’s worth, Brooks Baseball has Marshall hitting about 89 MPH, and Liam Hendriks hitting about 90-91. That could just be small sample size on Marshall, only going 12 IP. Maybe his stuff has ticked up since then.

    I said it before, I think with Hendriks and Marshall, you’re either betting on Hendriks increasing his K%, or Marshall decreasing his BB%.

  3. Johnathon

    It seems like The and Co are falling in love with these big athletically built ptchers. Shark, Edwin, Garza

    1. Edwin

      Travis Wood is a good athlete too. There’s a nice article at Cubs Den about this.

    2. Timothy Scarbrough

      Everyone is falling in love with big athletically built pitchers.

      1. miggy80

        Just look at Bartolo Colon. Dude’s pitch count is some where around 235 per game.

        1. Johnathon

          Gotta love Bartolo

  4. Blackhawks1963

    Another lottery ticket. Probability of Marshall amounting to anything are, charitably speaking, remote.

    This offseason’s marquee move will be signing Veres. Sit back and let that sink in for awhile.

    1. Bluz Cluz

      Damn man. There was nobody that was worth the Cubs money this off-season but Choo and Tanaka. If we didn’t get those 2, what was the point of signing anyone. Ellsbury sucks for anything more than 15-16 million and thats to high for me. Cano was never coming here, and anyone else, ugh.

      I’m definitely a critic, yet still a big supporter of the front office, and never one to not state my dislike of something, but do you fine anything positive to say about the Cubs? Even one thing? If not, then why are you a Cubs fan?

    2. another JP

      Now there’s a post to lift everyone’s spirits during Christmas. What’s it like to be living under that cloud all the time?

  5. Cheese Chad

    Is it true that Shark has some doubts re-signing because he’s not sure of the Cubs timeline of winning (obviously the money issue too)? If that’s true wouldn’t signing Tanaka increase the chances of Cubs re-signing Shark?

    1. Bluz Cluz

      If the Cubs sign Tanaka for the idiotic prices that are being suggested, kiss your chances of Shark accepting anything less than 100 million a year, yes a year, goodbye. ;-)

  6. Sacko

    Yes, Yankee garbage preferred to Twins garbage.

  7. matthew

    Merry Christmas Chicago! with your new arm?

  8. another JP

    Great pickup by the Cubs… Marshall was rated ahead of Manny Banuelos by Fangraphs in 2013 and word has it that the Yankees would not consider giving up Banuelos when Sori was traded.

  9. #1lahairfan

    He was a pretty good prospect in their system. Not bad.

  10. Michael

    Bruce Levine just reported the Cubs are interested in Jesse Crain…would be a nice addition to the pen.

    1. X The Cubs Fan

      Would be a big pick up.

    2. Voice of Reason

      Depends on how much money he will cost us.

      We’ve spent a lot of what little money we’ve spent on the bullpen. Idnlike to sprinkle a couple of bucks elsewhere.

      1. Turn Two

        I don’t necessarily disagree with you. At the same time, if we aren’t getting high end guys at other positions and we want to improve our team in the short term. Overspending and create a real solid pen is the cheapest way to do it.

        1. X The Cubs Fan

          I doubt he’s going to get too much. Crain on $2ish million dollar deal with incentives sounds right.

        2. Voice of Reason

          The only reason I want to sign any of these marginal to below average free agents is to flip them for minor league talent.

          1. TOOT

            “The only reason I want to sign any of these marginal to below average free agents is to flip them for minor league talent.”

            Are you a used car salesman? If so, you got a good argument.

          2. TOOT

            You might be a realor come to think of it. Ya! Flip the house for a big gain! Ya right. We all saw how that shaked out.(Great Depression?)

            1. hansman

              That wasn’t the problem. The provlem was folks buying a couple BMWs and house that was too big and then maxing out credit cards left and right thinking they’d take out a home equity loan to pay it all off.

              1. cub2014

                u nailed it hansman

              2. Edwin

                That, and a poorly regulated financial sector.

      2. CubFan Paul

        “We’ve spent a lot of what little money we’ve spent on the bullpen”

        There was really no where else to spend it, with Sweeney resigning for cheap, Olt slated for 3B, Junior Lake emerging & needing at-bats, inability to flip Schierholtz for value, ..there was only a rotation spot and bullpen improvements to be made.

  11. jsorensen

    Off the topic I know but wanted to mention though, after watching some recent Sports Talk Live segments on the Cubs, I have to say, many of Kaplan’s guests, who are professional sports writers, commentators, just don’t know shite. Not that I thought guys like Telander or Morrisey had much of clue, but jeez. Lots of self contradictions in the same segment, and it just goes unnoticed: Theo’s plan isn’t working in Chicago, then to Theo’s doing it the right way with good young players to but those players have to produce to fans not seeing a winner, all out of the same guys mouth in one answer. Just garbage. Thank God for & Happy Holidays to Bleacher Nation!

    1. beerhelps

      That maybe the only show that makes me feel like an old man…. because it makes me yell at the TV like they can hear me.

  12. cubmig

    I keep thinking about Moneyball’s two stars (Bad Pitt & Jonah Hill) and how their crafty thinking parlayed the signings of players they wanted to upgrade their team. I keeping wondering if that’s what’s going on in the org’s FO. It’s not a stretch given how their selectivity, in this off season, appears to map a strategy that MAY reflect their player-asset-resource-posturing for their ultimate goal: Collect enough viable players to build a viable team that can make a “good showing” (and that’s different than saying build a contending team) in 2014.

    I have my doubts about the way the FO is going about putting us on “the map”, but I know shit about what they know….so….I am left to read who they’ve signed, the reactive posts here assessing their decisions and still remain baffled by how actually the actions translate into fielding the viable team promising what we hope for.

    just my 2¢

  13. Sacko

    Best News Ive heard in awhile.. we possibly signed someone very promising.
    Wladmir Galindo, 17, 6’3″ ,210, infielder, Venezuala

    1. Jason P

      I like the signing, but I just can’t get too excited over a guy who, best case scenario, we will see in 2018 and possibly not until 2020 if at all.

      1. ssckelley

        True but it is nice to see the Cubs building that 3rd and 4th wave of prospects. Plus they are signing young raw power.

        1. CubFan Paul

          The 1st wave is getting ignored…

  14. Andy

    Relief is nice but if you can’t score runs might be a problem

  15. JerryCarrey56

    This has to be the most boring Cubs offseason I have ever witnessed

  16. cub2014

    I like the FO plan BUT where are the OBP guys?
    that is the major part of the plan and we were
    almost last in the majors in it last year. So somehow
    we must find these guys.

  17. Jon

    I got to ask , what is with all the support Phil Robertson ads on this site ? I’m tired of seeing that bigot and homophobe

    1. half_full_beer_mug

      Well they are everywhere, so not sure why this site would be any different.

    2. C. Steadman

      how is he a bigot for having his own opinion, but you’re not a bigot for your own opinion? he is a strong Christian and doesnt believe in gay people getting married…he doesnt hate them, never once did he say he hated gay people…

      1. C. Steadman

        he definitely said it in the wrong way though…

      2. Edwin

        Please don’t. It’s Christmas eve.

        1. C. Steadman

          sorry, I’m a Christian and I hate seeing another brother getting attacked when his words were taken out of context

          1. Jon

            This will be my last post on this, but he also made offensive remarks against blacks, suggesting they were much happier before the civil rights movement

            1. C. Steadman

              “his words were taken out of context”

              “he definitely said it in the wrong way though…”

              he never had much interaction with black people other than on the farm when he worked along side with some…he said when he saw them they were happy and godly, never once did he say “much happier before the civil rights movement” or even hint that…

              1. cub2014

                u beat me to it Steadman, we must be
                careful what the media tells us we must
                know the facts first.

                that being said I never watch Duck Dynasty….
                the part of his comments that homosexuality
                leads to other unmentionable things was dumb
                and wrong……

                lets remember that jesus was tolerant and
                forgiving of all people.

                1. C. Steadman

                  “the part of his comments that homosexuality
                  leads to other unmentionable things was dumb
                  and wrong……”

                  sorry to keep going, but I have a strong opinion on Phil, bc i come from a sort of similar background, but he didnt say it leads to other things…he said that the conversation usually starts with homosexuality but doesn’t end there, there are more sins that we should also discuss than just this one…and your last sentence says it all, and agree 100%

                  1. chrisfchi

                    Just want to throw this out there, in this country we are entitled to our religious beliefs. We don’t have to agree with it, but we’re entitled to it.

                    May you all have a blessed Christmas

                  2. cub2014

                    steadman, I just read his actual words
                    (not media paraphrasing) and you
                    are right, he said; “everything becomes blurred,
                    sin becomes fine. homosexuality and it just
                    morphs out from there, beasteality, sleeping
                    around with different women or women with
                    different men”

                    and I to am done on this subject

                    1. C. Steadman

                      when he used morph he wasnt meaning that homosexuality “leads” to that behavior, but that the conversation always starts with homosexuality(bc thats the biggest topic in the world today) and we should continue to the conversation to talk about other acts as well

                    2. CubFan Paul

                      “but that the conversation always starts with homosexuality”

                      Phil was asked: “Whats sinful to you?”

                      Phil brought up homosexuality:

                      “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men…Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

                      Steadman you should stop.

                    3. C. Steadman

                      Paul, you just made my point…”Start with homosexual behavior” bc thats the most popular topic, but then he touches on the topic men that sleep around with other women, women that sleep around with other men, people that lie with animals…he doesnt say that gay people will begin to lie with animals but he says “Start with homosexual behavior” bc its the most talked about topic in the world and branch out from there

                    4. CubFan Paul

                      Nice of you to take his full quote of context Steadman.

                    5. C. Steadman

                      how am i taking it out of context? he isnt saying that once you start with homosexual behavior that you’re more prone to start bestiality…rather he goes on to list other, separate acts of sin..he said start with homosexual behavior bc it was a topic they had already previously discussed in the interview and its more talked about in today’s society, than bestiality or sleeping around, so its naturally going to be the first thing he thinks about when it comes to sin

              2. Edwin

                It’s more of a subtle racism of lowered expectations.

                1. CubFan Paul


                  1. jeff1969

                    Anyone who mentions bestiality when referencing homosexuality is best described by words that would get me banned from commenting on BN.

      3. Jon

        Christians often use the crutch of “it’s our beliefs” to justify offensive and vulgar comments they make

        1. C. Steadman

          “he definitely said it in the wrong way though…”

          I dont agree with how he said it…but I dont believe in gay marriage…I’m not forcing my beliefs on anyone and I don’t hate gay people…

        2. cub2014

          Jon, but you referred to him as a bigot. which is
          certainly name calling isnt it. Though his comments
          were excessive, he did come back and say he cares
          for the people he just feels what they are doing
          is a sin. Its pretty hard to say that statement is bigotry.

  18. John (ibcnu2222)

    If you guys don’t like ads, (I don’t) and you use Chrome, download adblocker from the chrome store. It’s free.

  19. Edwin

    Anyone have a favorite Christmas or other holiday movie they watch this time of year? Or even just a movie that for whatever reason you always end up watching this time of year?

    My favorite Christmas movies are Muppet Christmas Carol, and Die Hard.

    1. C. Steadman

      call me cliche but Home Alone and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

    2. cjdubbya

      It’s A Wonderful Life. Wife watched it every year. I had never seen it before I met her (2005), it became a tradition to have it on while putting up our tree, then watching it again near the 25th.

      Also, props for Die Hard as a Christmas movie. Yippie ki yay…

      1. C. Steadman

        thats the one Christmas movie i havent been able to see this year…what channel does it frequent…ive seen the Grinch and Home Alone three times but not Its a wonderful life yet…plus can you believe my girlfriend has never seen it or even heard of the phrase “every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings”

        1. Edwin

          I always like to watch animated Grinch, and Charlie Brown christmas special, which is pretty much the same story as Die Hard. At their core, they’re both about Christmas plans gone horribly awry, and the quest of the protaganist to find the true meaning of Christmas.

          1. C. Steadman

            i like the animated Grinch better than the “real people” Grinch and shoot forgot about Charlie Brown!! thats another i’ve failed to see this Christmas so far…and nice comparison between die hard and charlie brown haha

      2. Edwin

        Do you watch it in color, or black and white? There is only one correct answer.

        1. C. Steadman

          i’ve never seen it in color, and never plan to

    3. cub2014

      best christmas movie? “ralphie you’ll shoot your eye out”!

    4. Pete LaCock


      Best. Movie. Ever.

    5. cub2014

      dont forget “bad santa” a classic, though maybe not
      in the intended spirit of christmas

      1. Edwin

        I really love Bad Santa. I think it’s actually fairly clever, despite the vulgarity.

    6. Edwin

      I actually liked The Ice Harvest. I don’t think I’ll ever plan to watch, but if it’s on tv while I flipping through, I’ll probably settle in.

    7. beerhelps

      Eyes Wide Shut. That’s right, I said it.

    8. Chiburgh

      Holiday Inn and White Christmas

  20. YourResidentJag

    Per Bruce Levine, Cubs have interest in Jesse Crain.

  21. cub2014

    great story on Baez, some people are mature beyond their years.

  22. YourResidentJag
  23. C. Steadman

    sorry everyone for the C. Steadman comment overload this morning…i’m at work until noon and im extremely bored :P

    1. chrisfchi

      I’m stuck here til 5. Hopefully no one comes in and my boss decides to close up early

      1. C. Steadman

        ouch, I’m sorry Chris..

        1. chrisfchi

          Eh, not all too bad. At least I get to meet my Niece today. Became an Uncle Saturday. Made my Christmas.

          1. C. Steadman

            congratulations! thats pretty exciting! my “future” niece(not yet married to my fiance) just started walking so i cant wait to see her this weekend

            1. chrisfchi

              Awesome! Kids always bring out the best of the holidays.usually in the “grinch” of the family but this year is special. Even bought a tree, and decorated it with beer cans

              1. C. Steadman

                haha that’s my kinda tree! and yes kids are great around the holidays…i love watching their excitement over opening gifts!

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