Cubs close to trading Sean Marshall for Travis Wood?

sean-marshall111According to Bruce Levine the Cubs and Reds are close on a deal that would send Sean Marshall to the Reds for 24 year old left-handed starter Travis Wood and two minor leaguers. We found that Marshall has a surplus trade value of about $6.5 million so this seems like a great trade for the Cubs. Wood has barely over 1 year of service time so he’s under club control for 5 additional years at the very least. The first two years would pay him league minimum at which point he’d become arbitration eligible until he reached free agency three years later.

Oliver projects Wood as a 2.5 WAR player over 170 innings in 2012. The following years Oliver has him at 2.4, 2.3, 2.3 and 2.3 WAR at which point he’d be a free agent. Wood’s surplus trade value is below.

Year WAR per win $WAR Salary
2012 2.5 5.0 12.5 0.5
2013 2.4 5.3 12.6 0.5
2014 2.3 5.5 12.7 5.1
2015 2.3 5.8 13.3 8.0
2016 2.3 6.1 14.0 11.2
Total 11.8 5.5 65.1 25.2

That’s a surplus value of $40 million so if the Cubs can acquire Wood and a couple of prospects while only giving up Sean Marshall I’d be thrilled. Let’s be a little cautious and take 3 WAR away from the total. That’s still a surplus trade value over $20 million.

It was suggested in the comments that Wood could then be used to acquire Anthony Rizzo from the Padres. The projections for Rizzo are not kind. Oliver projects .2 WAR next year and never a season higher than .8 WAR. Bill James projects a .318 wOBA and from a 1st baseman that is not at all good. CAIRO projects a .289 wOBA and .1 WAR.

I think those projections are low on Rizzo, but trading Wood for him makes no sense in my opinion. If you want to trade Matt Garza for him and the upside that Rizzo offers, go for it. I’d be reluctant to even do a Garza/Rizzo swap at this point.

Besides, the Cubs need young, cost-controlled players and Wood is just that. I don’t want the Cubs trading young players for young players. That defeats the purpose of rebuilding. Trade the veterans who aren’t going to be around for a contending team for younger players.