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.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.