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Cubs acquire Travis Wood, part ways with Sean Marshall - Through The Fence Baseball

Cubs acquire Travis Wood, part ways with Sean Marshall

by Dan Kirby | Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
| 714 baseball fanatics read this article

Travis Wood will be joining the Chicago Cubs in 2012. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs continue to shed payroll as they swapped lefties with the Cincinnati Reds. Twenty-nine-year-old Sean Marshall, a starter turned reliever, was sent to the Reds for 24-year-old Travis Wood and two prospects to be named later. Marshall was due to make $3.1MM in 2012 before becoming a free agent in 2013. Wood is still under a rookie contract until 2014 when he is arbitration eligible.

After a promising rookie year in 2010 in which he went 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 86 K/26 BB over 102.2 innings, Wood regressed in 2011. Over 18 starts, he went 6-6, 4.84 ERA 1.49 WHIP 76 K/40 BB over 106 innings. He features a plus/plus change-up that sits in the 79-82 mph range. His cut fastball tops out at 91 mph and is an above-average pitch. He uses both pitches to induce ground balls, something that is vital for success at Wrigley Field. He still needs to add a third reliable pitch as both his curve and slider are still a work in progress. At 5’-11”, 175 lbs, there have also been concerns about his durability as a starter and his upside may end up being a late inning specialist out of the pen.

With Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Andrew Cashner and Carlos Zambrano all righties, Wood gives the team a left handed option in the rotation next year.

Marshall, a 6’-7”, 220-lb lefty, was a sixth-round draft pick by the Cubs in 2003. He started out as a starter for the team over his first two seasons, then became a spot starter/reliever. Over the last two seasons, he has become one of the best, and most reliable, relievers in the game posting a 2.44 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 169 K/42 BB over 158 appearances combined. He also had 56 holds and six saves.

Cubs GM Theo Epstein seems to be sticking with a plan of patience, possibly waiting for next year’s deep free-agent class that includes pitchers Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and both Dan Haren and James Shields having club options in 2013. With $33MM coming off the books next season, as both Zambrano ($19MM) and Dempster ($14MM) have expiring contracts, the Cubs figure to be major players in the free-agent market. They have already cut $48.8MM off the 2012 payroll as Aramis Ramirez ($14.6MM), Kosuke Fukudome ($14.5MM), Carlos Pena ($10MM) and Jeff Samardzija ($3.1MM) have all moved on.

The additions of outfielder David DeJesus, third baseman Ian Stewart and now Wood are money saving moves that plug holes for the short term.

Post By Dan Kirby (308 Posts)

Draft junkie. Cubs junkie. I one time did a commercial for cereal that never aired.

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