Reds acquire Marshall for Wood, prospects
Cincinnati sends Sappelt, Torreyes to Chicago for lefty reliever
CINCINNATI -- If their previous trade didn't drive the point home that the Reds are going all in for the 2012 season, Friday's completed deal certainly had to.After being rumored for a few days, the Reds acquired lefty reliever Sean Marshall from the Cubs. Cincinnati paid a heavy price again as it parted with young talent for the second time in a week. Going to Chicago in the deal are left-handed starting pitcher Travis Wood, young outfielder Dave Sappelt and Minor League infielder Ronald Torreyes. "He's one of the top left-handed relievers in the game, a guy we're really impressed with and always had difficulty hitting against," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said of Marshall. "We felt he'd be a great addition to our club."
"I'm just looking forward to embracing the opportunity to go to the Reds and have a chance to really compete and win a division, and hopefully come home after the season with a World Series ring."The Reds still have an opening for the closer's role, but Marshall will be employed for the time being as a lefty setup man along with Bill Bray and right-hander Nick Masset. Jocketty did not rule out the closer's spot for Marshall, however. "It's a possibility," Jocketty said. "We're still talking with [free agent Francisco] Cordero. But if we don't sign or acquire a closer, we have several guys we feel can take over that role. Sean would certainly be one of them." Marshall's ability to get hitters out from both sides of the plate makes him an attractive candidate to close. Last season, right-handers batted .249 while lefties batted .206 against him. In 2010, it was .218 for righties and .196 for lefties. "I think some of the pitches and offspeed pitches that I throw can be effective for both," Marshall said. "I didn't have a problem last year and the previous years when [managers] Lou [Piniella] or Mike Quade put me in a situation where I'd face three righties in an inning. It didn't at all intimidate me." Marshall recorded five saves last season when Chicago closer Carlos Marmol struggled or was unavailable. "It was a thrill for me," Marshall said. "I enjoyed it, being able to lock the game down and seal a win for the team. I'm more than comfortable in the closer's role." Adding more risk to the Reds' side in this deal is that Marshall can become a first-time free agent after next season. He will earn $3.1 million in 2012. Marshall underwent a physical before the trade was finalized, but there was no long-term contract extension included. "There are no guarantees," Jocketty said. "But we're going to do our best to try and sign him. Hopefully when Sean gets to Cincinnati and sees what a great place it is to play, a great organization we have and a good ballclub, that he's going to want to stay for a while." Following a strong rookie season in 2010, the 24-year-old Wood was a disappointment last season. He was 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 22 games, including 18 starts, and was twice demoted to Triple-A Louisville. Wood became more expendable after the Latos trade and was unlikely to crack the Reds' rotation this spring. Sappelt, who turns 25 in January, made his big league debut last season and batted .243 in 38 games with the Reds. He batted .313 in 79 games at Louisville. In 2010 at three Minor League levels, he batted a combined .342. Only 19 years old, Torreyes batted .356 with a .398 on-base percentage in 67 games last season at Class A Dayton. "There's no doubt our bullpen just got weaker by losing Marshall -- you can't get around that," Epstein said. "But I think our starting rotation just got stronger, and our farm system just got stronger. If Wood bounces back and he pitches the way he did in 2010, you can argue that maybe we even got better [for] 2012. Certainly, the future just got a little bit brighter." As for the Reds, Jocketty did not rule out more moves after the holidays. "After the first of the year, we'll take a look at some things," Jocketty said. "We still want to address our bench, maybe left field and see what we can do."