I think most Cubs fans are bristling with the news Sean Marshall is headed to the Reds for the young left-hander Travis Wood and future prospects.
Trading away your most reliable bullpen arm, to a division rival no less, seems unthinkable. But that’s the tough part in analyzing an offseason trade such as this one.
Marshall, unquestionably, makes the Reds a favorite to win the division next season. Wood, on the other hand, is far less likely to make that kind of immediate impact for Chicago.
Human nature tends to want a clear-cut winner of the trade from the get-go. But this swap of left-handers won’t be fairly decided any time soon.
What can be said, for the time being, is the trade appears to be a win-win situation for both clubs, even despite the division rivalry, which is always the best trade.
Marshall fills a hugely important role in the backend of the Reds bullpen making Cincy poised to compete next season in a division deprived of Albert Pujols and the soon to be departed Prince Fielder–assuming he doesn’t sign with the Cubs!
Meanwhile, Chicago adds more talented pieces to its rebuilding process, specifically, a starter in Wood who has sky-high potential and is under team control through 2016.
Of course, only time will tell whether or not it stays that way. And how much time it takes, I don’t know.
But if we must judge this trade (and we most certainly will!) we’ll have to give it enough time to make our fair decisions.
–Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty doesn’t keep the high profile of Theo Epstein, but he’s certainly most deserving of it.
Since taking over the reins four years ago in Cincinnati, Jocketty has revamped a once depleted Reds roster into legitimate postseason contenders, including the club’s first division crown in 15 seasons (2010).
Just look at what Jocketty’s done over the last week in acquiring two top-notch arms to bolster the Reds pitching staff with the additions of Matt Latos & Sean Marshall.
There’s no wonder he’s a three time recipient of MLB’s Executive of the Year Award.
In short, the guy knows how to build winning baseball teams, which he’s done in Oakland, St. Louis and now Cincy.
It’s a clear reminder Epstein isn’t the lone sheriff in the NL Central. And as long as Jocketty remains the Reds GM, the Cubs will always need to go through Walt’s Redlegs to win the division—with or without Sean Marshall.