Perhaps, we’re about to see Theo Epstein begin rebuilding the Cubs the way I thought he would at the Winter Meetings.
That process being through trades of some of the Cubs most valuable players in return for young, inexpensive and major league ready prospects.
At least, that would better explain the rumored reports the Cubs are shopping Sean Marshall for Travis Wood.
If, in fact, the reports are true, it tells us two things.
First, Marshall’s departure would likely mean other trades involving the Cubs starting staff are in the works.
Chicago is currently courting free-agent Paul Maholm, the former Pirates lefty, who despite his poor overall numbers, has been an above average starter. If he signs with the Cubs he’s a virtual lock to join the rotation.
Wood also appears more of a rotational candidate than a reliever. Viewing him as a straight-up replacement for Marshall in the bullpen doesn’t make sense, either.
In parts of two seasons with Cincinnati Wood has started in 35 of his 39 appearances, and in 129 of 132 minor league appearances.
That puts seven arms in the rotation, including Wood, if you count Dempster, Garza, Wells, Zambrano, possibly Samardizija and Mohlom.
Secondly, the Cubs are likely to get more in return from the Reds than Wood considering Marshall’s value as a top-tier setup man, which is always a coveted commodity for bullpen arms, and especially for left-handed ones.
My guess as to what that return could be is another bullpen arm, a set-up type guy if possible, and someone who’s also younger and more affordable. Basically another pitcher or position player on par with Wood’s potential.
The bigger picture, however, is understanding and accepting the idea the Cubs are moving forward in the most efficient way possible.
They’re using what they have to get what they want–a much younger and talented team that can compete for many years together.
It’s a high asking price to pay and demands tough, tough business decisions the likes of potential trades involving a Sean Marshall or Matt Garza, or eating the handsome salary of Alfonso Soriano.
But if you want to cut payroll in favor of stock-piling the roster with young talent, this is how business is done–You part with the known for the unknown and eat the leftover dead presidents off your plate.
So this leaves me less caught up with analyzing a Marshall for Wood trade than I am with the bigger question on hand–are Cubs fans truly ready for a North Side makeover?
I know I am.