UPDATE: It’s a done deal.
It’s been a couple days since the Cubs and Reds reportedly agreed to a deal that would send Sean Marshall from Chicago to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two unnamed prospects, and now Keith Law of ESPN.com says the trade will be announced at some point today.
Law also has the details, reporting that the Cubs will receive prospects Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes in addition to Marshall, who’s expected to fill a setup role in Cincinnati despite the Reds’ current lack of a closer.
Marshall has emerged as one of the league’s elite relievers since moving to the bullpen full time in 2010, throwing 150 innings with a 2.45 ERA and 169/42 K/BB ratio. He’s the best player in the deal, but is also just one season away from free agency.
Wood’s upside isn’t as high, but he projects as a solid mid-rotation starter and at age 24 is under team control through 2016. Neither Torreyes nor Sappelt were among the Reds’ top 10 prospects according to Baseball America, so the swap is definitely built around Marshall for Wood, but Sappelt is an MLB-ready outfielder and Torreyes is a 19-year-old infielder who posted some big numbers at Single-A.
If the Reds can get Marshall signed beyond 2012 that would change things, but from the Cubs’ point of view getting a young, cheap mid-rotation starter and a pair of solid prospects for a reliever one year away from free agency is pretty nice work.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.