Travis Wood for Sean Marshall? Ummm…

I love Sean Marshall. He’s great. I don’t think I like this trade proposal, however, for any number of reasons. Just doesn’t make sense to me.

What do you think?

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 107 Comments

  1. Straight up? No I don’t think so. I don’t see how 1 year of Marshall at $3.1 million equals 5 more years of Wood.

  2. No way, 5 cost controlled years of Wood are worth more than one year at $3 mil+ of Sean Marshall. I know we are all in this year, but this move doesn’t make sense…Wood can be the same in a bullpen setting. They are about equal parts, so Wood being under control has a lot more worth than that.

  3. Here’s the case for the trade: Use Marshall as the closer this year. That solves the closer position this year with a terrific power-arm. Chapman can be made a starter.

    Better to bring in Marshall at $3m than pay Cordero or Brad Lidge twice that for worse production.

    Wood has had an inconsistent career with the Reds organization, both in the major leagues and minors. The Reds may have decided they don’t see him cracking our starting rotation next year or in the future. We do have several better young pitchers.

    Trade Wood to the GM (Epstein) who sees more value in him than we do. Five years of a borderline pitcher isn’t worth that much – there are a lot of pitchers like that.

    To be able to fix the closer problem relatively cheaply and with a great arm (and work on an extension with Marshall, maybe) is a big plus.

    How does your calculation change if the money we save by trading for Marshall frees up the cash that we had budgeted for a more expensive closer and enables us to acquire a better OF (cough, cough, Beltran)?

    Not saying I’m willing to go to the mat with all these arguments, just throwing them out there as food for thought.

    If this rumor is true, I love that the organization is looking at other club’s excellent set-up relievers as a possible closer. If not Marshall, maybe someone else like him.

  4. Wow. Sean Marshall is 6’7″. Maybe Walt is putting together a semi-pro basketball team on the side.

  5. Combining the last two years:

    Sean Marshall has thrown 158 innings.

    10.12 K/9
    2.5 BB/9
    2.07 FIP
    2.45 ERA
    5.0 fWAR – for some perspective, Cordero (0.6), Travis Wood (3.3)

    Those, my friends, are filthy peripheral stats.

  6. Is there any fear of the Reds hollowing out their minor leagues and putting too much stock into this one season? I am a huge Reds “fan” and have been really reading articles about them in the off-season and trying to learn more about the behind-the-scene stuff that is going on. I know that we can’t compete with the big market teams but I just don’t want us to put all of our eggs in one basket so to speak. Thoughts?

  7. I will be disappointed if this trade is completed but at the same time, happy that the team is improved. I don’t know what to think!

    Would be better if Marshall’s contract is partially paid for and Reds can use the extra money to spend on a LF. Kinda wonder how the Reds can expect to get through a season with Bailey/Chapman…I like both of them but neither has shown the ability to stay healthy.

  8. Oh! Come on!! Really?! This is a WTF moment. Sorry to be crude.

    • Wood for Marshall is bad enough, but it looks like two minor leaguers. Really!!!! WTF!!!!!! This is a crazy move. Absolutely insane. This has to be backwards. Two prospects have to be coming this way.

      “The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are close on a deal that would send reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati in exchange for left-handed pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers, according to a source familiar with the situation.”

  9. Ok, now that I’m done reacting and actually looking at Sean Marshall’s stats, a one for one trade is not as bad as I thought. Still not sure two minor leaguers should go with him though.

  10. Not sure why we would be the ones needing to send additional minor leaguers, I don’t like where this deal is headed.

  11. Cubs fans are saying its a bad trade unless Billy Hamilton and Neftali Soto come with him. The Cubs are still the number one most detested team for me because their fans are the most uneducated baseball fans in all of major league baseball. They are a scourge, a pox I tell you, a boil upon the baseball gods’ bottoms.

    Say what you want about the Cardinals, at least their fans know what they are talking about.

    • Cubs fans are saying its a bad trade unless Billy Hamilton and Neftali Soto come with him.

      Pass those funny brownies please. What could they be thinking? They already have Billy Hamilton, except he spells it Castro, and he’s better. Asking for anything more than Wood is just trying to rob Walt and the Reds. No prospects for you!

      I’m ok with trading Wood in general if we have to, but like others said, doing it for a one year reliever makes me nervous. There’s “all in” and then there’s just dangerous.

  12. Love this trade. Wood may be decent; Marshall IS a beast. that is enough for me. At least, as long as the 2 minor leaguers are Brodie Greene and that guy we got for Gomes.

  13. I love Marshall. He’s proven, consistent, effective against lefties and righties.
    The Reds 2012 bullpen looks terrible right now, Marshall would be a major help. As pointed out above, he’d make an inexpensive closer at $3.1 M. Hopefully it would mean no CoCo.

    Having said all that, if the Reds are trading 2 minor leaguers, neither should be a genuine prospect.

  14. I really don’t think they will make Marshall the closer. I’m sure they want two LHP in the bullpen. If Marshall is the closer than that leaves just Bray as the lefty.

  15. This makes no sense. Why would we take on a $3.1 million left-handed setup guy when we have a left-handed setup guy already who, although he wore down at the end of the year, is equal in stats to Marshall.

  16. Marshall is 29, makes over $3M and will be a free agent at the end of 2012. So the Reds will be renting him at a pretty high price for one year.

    Walt appears to be all in on making a run in 2012 while Joey is still with the team. I guess the hope is that a good showing in 2012 will increase revenues and thus allow the Reds to be competitive long term. Marshall is very good. But $3M to rent a setup man who will likely pitch 80 innings for one year only? I wonder.

  17. This deal is terrible. It’s actually so bad that I’m inclined to think the reporters have it completely wrong. Perhaps Byrd will be included in the deal and the Cubs agree to pay most his contract.

  18. Marshall is a stud on the mound. The bullpen last year sure as hell wasn’t anything to brag too much about. And did anyone else watch Travis Wood last year? He regressed. He got worse than 2010. He got demoted. I like the trade. If Jocketty is going “all in” for the remaining Votto years…I’m ok with that. We have a small market club that hasn’t won a playoff game in 16 years. A club that hasn’t wont a World Series in 20 years. Let’s try and win. You can’t build for the future forever. The future has to come eventually. And while a lot of people are upset about the salary of Marshall, let’s wait and see what happens. Maybe there is more to the trade than us common folk know about. I’m not concerned about the payroll. Walt gets paid to worry about that. I care about winning. And let’s step back and think about Travis Wood’s performance last year. I was at some games that he got absolutely rocked. He isn’t some outstanding pitching prospect that we must hold on to. I’m not a General Manager nor will I pretend to sound like one on Redleg Nation. I’m a fan who who wants to see the Reds win a lot. So let’s start winning a lot.

  19. I’m awfully wary of trading a starter for a reliever (although I’d been fantasizing about something like Wood + prospects to Oakland for Andrew Bailey and Michael Taylor), but Marshall’s peripherals are off-the-charts good, and he can pitch a lot of innings (70+ innings of 1.10 WHIP ball is verrrrry valuable).

    The “plus-two” part is concerning, but not really so much if we hear their names and are like, “Oh, yeah. I’ve heard of that guy.” Not so much if we’re like, “Oh, no. Not that guy!”

  20. 5 years of starting pitching for 1 year of relief pitching is ROUGH… (and I admit it makes me nervous to think we might be about to make Theo’s first deal as Cubs GM…)

    Marshall’s very very good though. And if this is part of a trend of Walt really starting to value strikeout/groundball/low-HR pitchers, then I LOVE that. (Wood is serious flyball pitcher, apparently.)

    Wood: 0.48 GB/FB ratio
    Marshall: 0.97 GB/FB ratio career (1.26 GB/FB ratio last 2 years)
    League average: about 0.80 GB/FB ratio

    So anyway, yeah, it does seem like an overpay. (Wood is a decent pitcher, really, and we’d really be selling low now.) But amassing groundball/strikeout types is a strong move.

  21. Oh man, I do not like this at all. Wood’s peripherals have been better than his ERA and he figures to improve. And the REDS are the ones throwing in minor leaguers? Relievers are just so inconsistent. I do not like this.

  22. @CKeever: I agree with your overall sentiment. I am a Fan and just want the Reds to win. I have no idea what the actual budget constraints are, Castelinni and Jockety make good money to figure that out.
    However, we can’t pretend that budget constraints don’t exist. You must at least acknowledge that having a player cost controlled for 4-5 years does add value. Wood could potentially be just as productive as Marshall out of the pen and at a much lower salary for a much longer time. Saying that, I am not totally opposed to the trade (assuming we’re not actually giving up prospects in the deal as well).
    What I am opposed to is having one set “closer” who comes in in every save situation, regardless of the matchups and regardles of the arm freshness of the individual relievers. If we make this trade, I would like to see Marshall, Masset and maybe LeClure all share the closing duties, depending on the matchups and who has the hottest hand at the time.

  23. Sean Marshall was a failed starter who found his niche in the bullpen. Travis Wood certainly could come somewhat close to that in the bullpen. Giving up a 24 year old starter, who is cost controlled for a few years seems like a smarter thing to keep than a 31 year old reliever who hits free agency, and a bigger payday next season. To give up prospect with Wood is downright insane.

  24. While Wood’s peripherals last year were somewhat better than his ERA, they did still show some regression.

    K/9: 7.54 fell to 6.45
    BB/9: 2.28 rose to 3.40 !!
    FIP: 3.42 rose to 4.06
    ERA: 3.51 rose to 4.84

    The Reds may have decided that Travis Wood didn’t really have a significant future in the Reds Latos-era starting rotation. If that’s the case, then why not trade with the GM (Theo Epstein) who apparently likes Wood quite a bit.

    • While Wood’s peripherals last year were somewhat better than his ERA, they did still show some regression.K/9: 7.54 fell to 6.45BB/9: 2.28 rose to 3.40 !!FIP: 3.42 rose to 4.06ERA: 3.51 rose to 4.84

      The only problem with this is we’re only comparing 17 starts to 18 starts. These are too small of sample sizes with only two years of data to say that Wood is trending in one direction or the other.

      The other concern is that Arroyo is the only pitcher in the rotation who has consistently made 30+ starts a season. The starters look like this:

      Cueto, Latos, Leake, Bailey, Arroyo with Wood and Chapman in the minors (just for arguments sake since they have options.) If Wood is traded, your “6th starter” depth assumes that Chapman can make the transition…and even then we should expect him to have an innings count limit in 2012.

      I’m not really liking the sounds of these rumors. Perhaps there is another name coming from the Cubs that hasn’t leaked out yet? It’s hard to imagine that there are not free agent options that could expected to perform similarly w/o costing a prospect.

  25. I was going to back off my original stance with this post and then I read Travis and he basically summarizes my thoughts perfectly. I knew Marshall was succeeding as a reliever but I didn’t realize how much. Couple things to remember however… he’s only been this “beast” everyone is talking about for 2 years. In the 4 years where he was a full or part time starter, he had a TOTAL of 3.3 WAR. This goes to show you how difficult it can be to compare SPs and RPs side by side.

    We are talking about pretty narrow windows here. We don’t know where Wood’s path will take him. He had a bit of a sophomore slump but he’s only going to be 25 next year and has shown signs of being a solid middle of the rotation guy (with the ceiling of a #2).

    Is putting Sean Marshall in the bullpen any different than converting Homey Bailey? I understand the mental block of taking one of your OWN guys and “giving up” on him and making him a reliever, but we have our own Sean Marshall in house and much cheaper.

  26. I’m withholding judgment on the trade until I see the details, but *if* (big if) this move is used to eliminate the further need for a closer, then I like it better strategically.

    Again, what if saving $3-4m on a closer makes a difference in the type of OF we can sign.

  27. @Jason Linden: Walt is like a fat guy who has been on a crash diet too long. BINGE TRADE!!!

  28. @RiverCity Redleg: If Marshall is made the closer, Dusty will send him out there every single time in a save situation. There is no such thing as a platoon closer in Dusty’s eyes.

  29. @RiverCity Redleg: I agree. I’m anxious to see how this plays out. And I wish Dusty would consider more flexibility when it comes to the bullpen and go to the hot hand. But then again, it’s Dusty. Can we trade Dusty Baker to some other team for a six pack of Yuengling? 😀

  30. @Steve Mancuso: These are good points and on the other thread I mentioned some of these. If Marshall were cheap for 3 years I make the deal. For 2 years (Votto’s window) I think about it, if Baker agrees to have him close. But he won’t close. He’ll set up for Cordero, which is a waste.

    Wood is excellent insurance for Chapman and Arroyo too, so he’s not excess in the same way Alonso and Grandal were.

  31. Can someone tell me what Marshall would bring when he departs after 2012? Would he be a type B? That makes a difference, you know.

    Still, WTF with the two minor leaguers. WHAT IS JOCKETTY DOING?

  32. The Reds pen would have Marshall, Bray, Lecure, Masset, right? Then they’ll go sign Cordero, and once again, the worst reliever in the pen will be the closer. God I hate Dusty Baker.

  33. @Steve Mancuso: Do you think Cordero for $7-8M is a given if nothing else gets done? I agree Marshall is a much preferred alternative to that. I guess I’m also not sure under what circumstances Beltran has been assumed to be outside our budget… was THAT assuming that $7-8M was going to a closer? If not, then adding $3M for Marshall isn’t saving, it’s pushing Beltran farther away.

    Semi-off topic question… would you rather have Beltran or Oswalt for 1 year/$10 million?

  34. @Dave Lowenthal: I don’t know if that’s guaranteed. Red Sox are apparently interested in him (lol), as well as the Angels. CoCo apparently wants a multi-year deal. Surely the Reds can’t be that stupid, right?

    • CoCo apparently wants a multi-year deal. Surely the Reds can’t be that stupid, right?

      Walt needs to demonstrate his leadership/parenting skills here by not resigning Coco. The only way to stop Dusty from breaking something is to take away the toys.

      Dusty will be managing for a new contract somewhere right? If I recall, in the season he was begging for an extension he finally showed at least some willingness to consider his lead-off options and whatnot. We can only hope his desire for a new contract will allow him to see the team outside of his comfort zone. If this is his sunset post, then God help us.

  35. Marshall is an excellent reliever, and his contract would be a wash given the savings on the Latos deal. He could be a plan B to close if Cordero signs with the Angels or Red Sox. He’s a great target.

    With that said, according to Baseball-Reference, 2 of Wood’s top 4 closest comparables through age 24 are Paul Maholm (2) and Ricky Romero (4). Four years of a league average LH starting pitcher trumps any single year of relief.

  36. Has anyone read this article…?

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7370324/the-mlb-prospect-bubble

    I’m finding it incredibly fascinating, especially given the reaction we saw recently to trading away 2-3 top prospects.

  37. @David: I agree with all that.

    It’s as if Jocketty hired someone this offseason who told him that K/9 and BB/9 are more important indicators than ERA; see the Latos deal and now this, and he didn’t bite for Jurrgens. Of course, then there’s the whole Cordero thing, so maybe the new analyst gets locked in the closet every so often.

  38. @Dave Lowenthal: That is one thing that I don’t understand at all…that WJ and the Reds are gong all in but we have Dusty Baker at the helm??? Wow

    • @Dave Lowenthal: That is one thing that I don’t understand at all…that WJ and the Reds are gong all in but we have Dusty Baker at the helm??? Wow

      Why is it so hard for RN posters to consider that Walter and Johnathan have a better relationship than they think?

      If I recall, it was Jocketty who was the first to proclaim that they wanted Volquez to start Opening Day last year.

      If I recall, it was Jocketty who said ‘just because a player was called up doesn’t mean that they will play that day’, replying in a frustrated manner to the Cincinnati media’s asinine question about why fresh callups aren’t run out there the same day.

  39. Per Lance McAlister on Twitter: On this date: 2007 – Reds trade Josh Hamilton to Rangers for Edinson Volquez/Danny Herrera.

    FML

    • Per Lance McAlister on Twitter: On this date: 2007 – Reds trade Josh Hamilton to Rangers for Edinson Volquez/Danny Herrera.

      FML

      That was a good trade for the Reds. Problem being, Volquez’s elbow popped. Hamilton has been injury-prone as the Reds have always known. Bad things happen sometimes.

    • Per Lance McAlister on Twitter: On this date: 2007 – Reds trade Josh Hamilton to Rangers for Edinson Volquez/Danny Herrera.

      FML

      Ugh.
      That’s one of the worst deals in franchise history. Maybe the worst.

  40. This trade makes me nervous. First because it’s the Cubs and, secondly, I’m not sure how I feel about giving up Wood plus two others for what might be a one year reliever.

  41. Travis Wood is probably better than he showed last year (he was even pretty mediocre in his long AAA stretch), which is why anyone would be interested in him. But I’m also skeptical that he’s as good as he showed in 2010.

    He’s not a #3 or #4 for the Reds. Right now, he’s actually our #7.

    I liked him two years ago – not only did he have a few fantastic games, but he wasn’t Eric Milton.

    The question is whether 2010 was atypical in which case trade high now, or was last year atypical, in which case we are trading low.

  42. Interesting to see the splits here on how people view this deal. Personally I am never for giving up SP that is young and cheap for a rental, but I am not sold that Wood can pitch out of the Pen, so what, he sits in Louisville for another season?

  43. @secondguessingfanbase: A good trade? Did you watch Volquez this past year? He’s lazy. He can’t bunt. He can’t play defense. He can’t run the bases. The elbow wasn’t the problem. Hamilton won an MVP. Hamilton has had some injuries but sliding into home and running into the wall while hustling were the main culprits. They don’t just hand out MVP’s. I think our left field problem would be solved if Hamilton was still in Cincy. A good trade?

    • @CKeever: Who’s to say that Hamilton wouldn’t have gotten hurt and Volquez would have been the difference maker in that rotation vs. St. Louis?

      Volquez is not lazy, unemployed individuals who sit on blogs all day are lazy. Last year it looked like Edinson got frustrated and had a hard time finding his way back mentally. He’s a guy who was toyed with by the Rangers farm, abandoned and traded to Cincinnati. He embraced that opportunity by making the All-Star team. That shows resiliency in an individual.

      He hasn’t been good as a Red in a while, the Reds have other players, likely best for both parties to move on. The piling on doesn’t make sense to me.

      Votto can’t play defense.

      Phillips can’t run the bases.

      Zach Cozart is the only Red that can bunt.

      Votto’s lazy relay to 2nd base got the aformentioned SS injured for the rest of the season.

  44. I like Wood and one thing I haven’t heard mentioned is his performance vs. Philadelphia in the 2010 postseason. He excelled in the moment. I’m afraid that his fastball is a bit stringy, moreso than Bailey’s, and if he doesn’t locate he’s not a rotation piece. Maybe a little less Cliff Lee and a little more Bronson Arroyo would help him utilize that 93 mph fastball better. It’s not Travis’ put-away pitch, which it should be.

  45. @secondguessingfanbase: Baker gives the players free will to bunt, steal, and make all the decisions on their own. Nice guy…player’s manager. Not a instinctive bulldog that knows how to make the right calls to win and win consistently.

  46. @CKeever: Baker has won much more consistently than almost any manager out there, active, unemployed and retired.

    Talent wins. No cleanup hitter, no team speed and a bad rotation gets you 78 wins in Major League Baseball, not the manager.

  47. @secondguessingfanbase: Yeah, if they could just replicate the old “MVP for a minor piece of a 4 for 1 trade to acquire an ace”, they’d be on their way to a WS title.

    You don’t trade 131 OPS+ position players for a pitching prospect with a history of control issues. That’s for a two reasons: (1) “pitching prospect”, and (2) “control issues”.

    But sure, keep chalking it up to bad luck as opposed to an absolutely stupid idea.

  48. @secondguessingfanbase: Sure, let’s evaluate the manager solely on wins. Is that not a bit simplistic?

  49. Baker is 10th among active managers in winning percentage (including Tony LaRussa), though his record is heavily skewed to his years in SF. I don’t know if that’s good or not…it’s been on a pretty rapid decline since 2005. I don’t think it’s fair to hold him entirely accountable for his record, because, lets face it, some of those Reds’ teams were dreadful.

    It would be far more accurate to say: “Baker has managed much more consistently than almost any manager out there, active, unemployed and retired.”

  50. FWIW, Marshall was tied for third (with the Yanks’ Robertson) in WAR for relievers, right behind Kimbrel and Papelbon, and right above Rivera. He was tied for fifth the season before, and the only other guy in the top 10 each year was Axford.

    That = pretty good.

  51. Fayman: Marshall would not be slated to close.

    Reading some outsiders takes – I think we are overvaluing Wood a little. Still not loving the trade.

  52. Yeah, I think its possible we’re over projecting Wood’s talents…maybe he’s more of a #4/5 instead of a #3/4. We’re not overvaluing his contract though.

  53. @CP: Right, a ceiling of a #3 doesn’t mean he IS a #3.

    Marshall is great, but a cheap #4/5 is valuable. I think of the Cards signing Lohse when they did, and that strikes me at the time as them signing a #4 on the open market and they paid around 10M per season.

    As Aaron said, I’m not interested at all if he’s not going to close.

  54. @Dave Lowenthal: When he was the centerpiece of the Reds team the trade wasn’t bad. Pitching beats hitting and Volquez gave them that. The same reason they traded Hamilton is the same reason they traded Alonso – the possibility of having a true 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation was too much to resist. Volquez-Harang or Cueto-Latos, it’s the same philosophy. If Latos’ elbow explodes and he doesn’t return to form immediately, I’m sure there will be some saying it was an awful trade.

  55. I still see plenty of positive value in Marshall even if he isn’t signed to close.

    1. Utterly locks down the 8th inning.
    2. Back-up closer if we need one during the season.
    3. Locks Chapman into starter role.

    I’d like it even more if he closed – not because closing is necessarily more valuable than a great 8th inning pitcher – because it would prevent us from wasting the money signing an ‘established’ closer like Cordero or (gulp) Brad Lidge.

    Marshall may be the best value to receive for Travis Wood, depending on how others view him.

    Travis Wood isn’t going to be the #4 or #5 on this staff.

    Maybe Walt has another move in store for the closer besides Cordero/Lidge/David Weathers. Someone else’s right-handed set up guy we could use as a closer.

  56. @Dave Lowenthal: It’s simplistic to believe that batting order is the reason why teams win and lose. Most of the criticisms on Baker are simplistic. Overextending relievers is much more of a concern if you want to get to actual issues with Dusty Baker.

  57. I agree that often a cheap #4 or #5 is a solid asset. But I don’t see the Reds as going that route right now. Their rotation is:

    1. Cueto
    2. Latos (yay)
    3. Chapman/Bailey
    4. Leake
    5. Arroyo

    We can complain all we want about Arroyo, but he’s going to be there, one way or another.

    Where do you see the need for Travis Wood here?

  58. I think a stronger argument against the trade would be based on making the case for Travis Wood as a LH relief pitcher.

    Compared to Marshall, Wood is cheaper, under control for five years instead of one, and has experience starting if we need a swingman or suffer several injuries on the starting staff.

    That’s how I thought the Reds were going to use Wood this year, anyhow, as the second LHP in the bullpen.

  59. @Steve Mancuso: Well don’t forget, the Reds started last season minus Bailey and Cueto, and probably should have been down Arroyo for his mono. Wood is the best thing they’ve got left in AAA if the injury bug hits. That doesn’t make him untradeable, but it should give them pause.

  60. @Dave Lowenthal: “You don’t trade 131 OPS+ position players for a pitching prospect with a history of control issues”

    “You don’t trade for ex-crackheads that could fall off the wagon at any second for a pitching phenom that has carried the Reds to a Pennant” is what Rangers talkingheads would be saying if things worked out in favor of the Reds.

    Anything can be cherry-picked, Dave.

  61. @Steve Mancuso: Every team ends up needing 8-10 starting pitchers by the time a season is over. Remember how quickly our perceived starting pitcher glut dried up just last year?

  62. @secondguessingfanbase: I will not say it’s an awful trade if Latos gets hurt. Alonso and Hamilton are not the same thing. One was a major league player putting up huge numbers in CENTER FIELD, the other is a player who plays first base and in my mind is still a prospect. Moreover, there’s an enormous difference in trading:

    a relatively established hitter for a pitching prospect with control issues

    and

    a not established hitter (a prospect!) for an established pitcher with no control issues

  63. @Steve Mancuso: I don’t think anyone questions whether Marshall makes the 2012 team better (unless a couple pitchers get hurt at the same time). The issue is whether we’re significantly overpaying for the improvement. I think we’d all feel better if there was a sign-and-trade or something like that.

    For example, Sergio Santos was signed to a 3 year, $8 million deal w/ 2 club options, then traded to Toronto for Nestor Molina. Molina was a reliever, wasn’t even in the top 30 in the Blue Jays system, (but was coming off a great year so he’ll probably be top 10 this year).

  64. @secondguessingfanbase: Not trading hitters for pitching prospects is an excellent rule of thumb. How long have we been waiting for Hamilton to shoot himself up with heroin how?

  65. @CP: I see someone read Grantland 😀

    Let’s get Santos. Oh wait, too late.

  66. Anyway, in terms of Wood’s value, I think it’s probably right on his career averages.

    2010 – Wood had a very good year (102 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP), but largely on an unrealistically low BABIP (.261).

    2011 – He was pretty bad (106 IP, 4.84 ERA, 1.49 WHIP), but it was largely on an unrealistically high BABIP (.333).

    Career – His overall career BABIP now is .299, which I think is right around league average, so I’m estimating that his career totals (4.18 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) are reasonable guesses for what he is.

    The only other noteworthy thing that jumps out at me is that he’s very much a flyball pitcher (GB/FB ratio = 0.48 career, league average being 0.81). His HR’s allowed have been OK so far, largely b/c a low percentage of flyballs allowed have gone out of the park (5.3% HR/FB vs. a league average of 7.3%). I don’t know enough about it to know if that’s something that’s repeatable or if that’s probably fluky?

    To sum it up, I’d say Wood is basically a healthy, 24-year-old, league-average lefty starting pitcher. Cheap and under team control for 5 more years. That has value.

    How does that compare to 1 year of a great lefty reliever? I don’t know, but it seems to me Wood has more value than that. (Not in 2012, but over 2012-16, yes.)

  67. My goodness, the Reds MUST use Chapman as a starter if they trade Wood. After Wood on the current 40 man roster, the next guys up to start are Kyle Lotzkar and Pedro Villareal. I think that might have to change in the spring.

  68. @Aaron Lehr: I dont’t read Grantland but do talk regularly with a pretty large group of fellow sabernerds. I’m not surprised these type of things filter down!

  69. @Steve Mancuso: It’s probably better if Marshall isn’t slated as the closer, because that’s not always the highest-leverage situation to use your best reliever (which he will most likely be), and Dusty is going to use the closer almost exclusively in save situations.

    I like Wood, but the Reds can always just sign Paul Maholm if they need a Paul Maholm-type to fill out the back of the rotation or pitch in long relief. He wouldn’t cost all that much. But I have a feeling, based on the most recent reports, that the Cubs are more interested in the unnamed prospects than Wood. That could either kill the deal or make us hate it.

  70. @secondguessingfanbase:

    “Who’s to say that Hamilton wouldn’t have gotten hurt and Volquez would have been the difference maker in that rotation vs. St. Louis?”

    Um….

    Ahahahahahaha!

  71. @secondguessingfanbase:

    Are you Edinson Volquez’s mother or something?

  72. @Travis G.: It makes sense that Theo would be looking to replenish a neglected farm system. He must think Walt wants this real bad.

  73. @Travis G.: Something in mlbtraderumors.com also mentioned that Theo had some interest in Wood last year, when Theo was still in Boston.

    He may just have identified him as someone he thinks is undervalued by his current team. (And he may be right!)

  74. Prospects are just that prospects. To me this deal is Wood for Marshall/draft pick.

  75. @Dave Lowenthal: I liked Hamilton, thought the babysitting was a bit much, notwithstanding his talent was worth telling others about.

    If Edinson’s talent could ever make me not miss Hamilton in CF, the guy must’ve been something else. Sad the way it ended for him but I think he had to go for his sake.

  76. The thing we should not forget is that the original report says Wood AND additional prospects.

  77. the issue i have with this trade is that bailey is out of options and wood is not. that means if we keep bailey, he has to be on the big league team, so that pushes chapman to the minors, and i don’t see the point of that.

    trading bailey makes more sense, because then wood can really be the 6th starter in AAA, ready to take chapman’s place if his innings get too high, or step in if there’s an injury.

    the other option is to just keep them both, forget marshal, and see what bailey can do out of the pen. i bet it would be pretty good (see lecure, sam) and we wouldn’t have to give up more prospects etc.

    not saying bailey would be as good as marshall, who i really like, but he’s cheaper, and keeping wood gives us more depth/flexibility.

  78. @dn4192: That’s nonsensical.

  79. @al: Bailey and Wood aren’t interchangeable. Bailey’s peripherals indicate a higher ceiling. Options are not important enought to make the switch between the two.

    Wood and 2 PTBNLs is more than alright in this deal. I would be thrilled if the deal were effectuated after the Cubs renegotiated his contract to extend for 3 years – 12 million or something.

  80. @secondguessingfanbase: I’m sorry, but you just don’t trade a good hitter in the major leagues, or a good pitcher for that matter (but especially a good hitter), for a pitching *prospect*. Especially one with control issues. I don’t care how much talent he has.

    Let’s try to find something as close as possible to Hamilton for Volquez. It’d be, say, Mat Latos for Brad Boxberger, if Boxberger was a starter. He strikes out more than Volquez and walks more than Volquez in the minors. He’s a phenom in terms of talent. The Pads would have been out of their mind nuts to do something like that. Obviously, Boxberger is a reliever (though some think he could start, though that’s nuts IMO), and Latos is younger and not an ex drug user), so it’d cost a bit more. But instead, an established major league player cost the phenom pitching prospect AND a lot more. The Pads extracted a fair price. The Reds extracted Danny Herrera in addition to Volquez. I now want to go throw up recalling it.

    The Reds made an incredibly stupid deal from a philosophical point of view.
    (Note: obviously, you do make such a trade in a contract year, a dump trade. Hamilton was not a salary dump trade.)

  81. @dn4192: Is this back to your dartboard theory of prospects? I wonder if the Pads agreed to throw three darts at the Reds minor league system and it just happened to come up Alonso, Grandal, and Boxberger.

    • @dn4192: Is this back to your dartboard theory of prospects? I wonder if the Pads agreed to throw three darts at the Reds minor league system and it just happened to come up Alonso, Grandal, and Boxberger.

      I will move any prospect at any time for a proven major league player. There is zero proof that any of the prospects we sent to SD will ever be major league players on a good/great level. Now may they be serviceable, sure, but we know Latos can pitch on this level.

      Give me a proven player any day over a prospect.

  82. @rightsaidred: i disagree, i don’t think that much of bailey, and he’s going to be more expensive for the reds. i would gladly move him instead of wood. i think wood is more valuable to the reds than bailey.

  83. @secondguessingfanbase: No need to be a jerk. And if for some strange reason your comment which reads “unemployed individuals who sit on blogs all day are lazy” was directed towards me, then you need check yourself. I’m getting ready to head to Afghanistan for another 6 months as an NCO. Lazy is not a good description of me or my job. But Edinson Volquez IS LAZY. Watch games from the last year. It’s obvious. He couldn’t pitch at first in spring training because he waited too long to apply for his work visa. Hustle, work ethic, and desire are not a measurable stat. They are still vauable traits though. Volquez didn’t have it.

  84. To me as this drags out the odds grow nothing happens. I mean there was little to no press on teh Latos deal and BAM it happened. I think the Cubbies are geting greedy and Walt is going to look elseware…

  85. Looks like the Wood-Marshall deal is done. Wow.

  86. I wonder who the 2 minor leaguers we are giving up will be? Anybody seen the names yet?

  87. @dn4192: Nice timing! 😆

  88. Wood for Marshall I can see … MAYBE. Wood + 2 (I don’t care who the two are) is silly wrong.

  89. Two prospects better be someone I’ve never heard of. Either that or I hope its a journeyman that gets his shot. Maybe a Danny Dorn-type. Bad business decision but at least makes me feel good for the player.

  90. fay is saying that he doesn’t think the two players will be prospects. all i can say is that i hope he’s right.

    sorry to see wood go, but as an extreme flyball pitcher, he really wasn’t a good fit.

  91. Man, the Cubs fans comments on the mlbtraderumors site make me ill. Clearly most think nothing of Wood nor of the fact that Marshall is insignifcant to them if their (lack of a) starting staff can’t get the game in good shape to him. No way this trade should garner the Cubs anybody near the Top 10 list. By near I mean top 25. Good luck Mr. Wood.

  92. @dn4192:

    That’s stupid, if only because your strategy would preclude you from using the same prospect to trade for a better big leaguer at a latter date.

  93. @Dave Lowenthal:

    I think the more appropriate point is that Volquez wasn’t exactly lighting the prospect rankings on fire, and thus trading Hamilton for he and Herrera was an example of selling absurdly low. If the deal had been made for the equivalent of Matt Moore right now (sans contract anyway), or Michael Pineda this time last year, I could understand the move if you had a strong need for pitching.

  94. The minor leaguers were involved to send some cash back to Reds country most likely. What if the Reds were to give Marshall a shot at closing? Think it might improve the odds of an extension? If that’s the thinking, I am not as turned off by the trade. I still believe that a few seasons of a cost controlled #4 lefty are more valuable than any eigth inning set up guy, but using Marshall as a rather inexpensive closer and extending him makes it much easier to swallow. Of course I really hope I’ve never heard of the minor leaguers.

  95. @Tanner Lewis: If you want to find out if the Reds are emptying their minor league teams of all the prospects, you need to go to the sights that are their minor league affiliates. They are the Louisville Bats (AAA), The Pensacola Blue Wahoos AA(but look up the stats for the Carolina Mudcats)Bakersfield Blaze (High A),Dayton Dragons (Low A)and the two rookie clubs Billings Mustangs and Arizona Leaue Reds. Many of the Reds best prospects are in High A and Low A. They should be in AA this year and maybe AAA. Both Dayton and Bakersfield made the playoffs this past season.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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