UPDATE: Deal is done according to a Bruce Levine tweet, don't know the name of the minor leaguers yet and the players must pass physicals.
ESPN Chicago and Fox Sports both reported last night that the Cubs were close on a deal to send the "best left-handed reliever in baseball" to the Cincinnati Reds, possibly for left-handed starter Travis Wood and 2 more minor leaguers. It seems the "2 more" will be the key to deal. And of course, nothing is official yet with plenty of water already thrown on this rumor fire. But it may happen, and if so, let's see why it might make some sense.
Under the new CBA, relievers will almost certainly not being getting their old club free agent compensation and Marshall was set to be one after 2012. Better to get something now than nothing later with 2012 looking like a non-competitive season for the Cubs. Also, it's generally a good idea to trade a reliever for a starter, at least a starter that won't be a free agent until after 2016 and you probably expect to be average or slightly better. Wood will be just 25 next season after all. And as mentioned, there seems to be talk of at least 2 other Reds coming over and we'll have to see who those are.
Brandon Watson (signed yesterday after getting released by the White Sox earlier in the week) doubled, tripled, and collected two RBI, Fernando Perez (just demoted from big league camp) singled, doubled, scored a run, and knocked-in two others, and Blake Lalli tripled and singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, helping the Iowa Cubs mount a fierce five-run 8th inning rally to close a 6-0 deficit to just one run, but Watson was left stranded at 3rd when Scott Moore and Matt Spencer struck out (Moore looking and Spencer swinging) and Ty Wright popped out to RF, and the Salt Lake Bees (Angels AAA affiliate) hung-on to edge the I-Cubs 6-5 on Field #3, while over on Field #2, Cubs LHRP Sean Marshall (sent to Minor League Camp to get work) threw a 13-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (F-9, 5-3, F-9), Ryan Flaherty and Rebel Ridling hammered solo home runs (Flaherty’s a towering 450-foot job over the “Green Monster” Batter’s Eye in dead CF), and Nate Samson reached base three times (a triple, a single, and a walk) and drove-in two runs, leading the Tennessee Smokies to a 4-1 nine-inning victory over the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) on Field #2 (although the game was extended an extra half-inning to allow LHP Chris Siegfried to pitch his pre-scheduled inning--bumped to extra innings when Sean Marshall arrived, and the Travelers scored four runs in the top of the 10th), in Cactus League Minor League action at Fitch Park this afternoon
The Cubs squandered another superb start, this one by Ryan Dempster, and lost 3-2 to the Astros in 10 innings Sunday afternoon. To make matters worse, the bullpen culprits on this day were the Cubs' two relief studs so far this young season, Carlos Marmol, who surrendered the tying run in the 9th, and Sean Marshall, who took the loss after allowing a double by Jason Michaels and a sacrifice fly by Pedro Feliz in the 10th.
Jered Weaver threw five innings of one-hit shutout ball while striking out nine (no walks), and Cubs pitchers were battered to the tune of 16 hits (including one triple, two doubles, and three home runs), as the Los Angeles Angels pounded a Cubs split squad 11-0 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in sunny Mesa, Arizona, this afternoon.
Ryan Theriot had three hits, and Marlon Byrd, Mike Fontenot, and Jeff Baker mashed home runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over Dusty Baker's Cincinnati Reds at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park under mostly cloudy skies in warm Mesa, AZ.
Bryan Lahair cranked a three-run homer to tie the game and then later doubled and scored, leading the Cubs to an 11-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Cactus League action at sunnny and warm Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa this afternoon, in what was the first-ever appearance by the Reds at HoHoKam Park. (The Reds relocated their Spring Training camp from Sarasota, FL to Goodyear, AZ this year).