Reds Extend Sean Marshall

The Reds announced a three-year extension with lefty reliever Sean Marshall, which runs through 2015.  The contract is worth $16.5MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Rosenthal notes there's $2MM in performance bonuses each year, $1MM for games started and $1MM for games finished.  The 29-year-old has yet to throw a pitch for his new team, having been acquired from the Cubs in a December trade.  Marshall, a client of Meister Sports Management, was already under control through 2012 due to a previous two-year deal.


With the new contract, Reds GM Walt Jocketty prevents one of the game's best relievers from reaching free agency after the season.  Since converting to relief full-time in 2010, the lanky southpaw owns a 2.45 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9 over 150 1/3 innings, allowing just four home runs in that span.  Marshall's $16.5MM contract does not represent a discount, matching the high bar set for non-closing relievers by Joaquin Benoit, who signed as a free agent with the Tigers in November 2010.

As MLBTR's extension tracker shows, in recent times five other non-closer relievers have signed extensions heading into contract years: Ryan Madson of the Phillies, Rafael Soriano of the Braves, Dan Wheeler of the Rays, Matt Belisle of the Rockies, and Casey Janssen of the Blue Jays.  That's not to say Marshall won't end up closing if Madson departs the Reds after the season; we'll be monitoring the situation on Twitter @closernews.

For a look at the remaining relievers in the 2012-13 free agent class, check out our list here

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

42 Responses to Reds Extend Sean Marshall Leave a Reply

  1. Boom Boom! Well done Walt, keep em’ coming. Next is Mr.Votto… I love BP,but you cannot afford both, so let Phillips walk after the 2012 season, take the 2 draft picks and move on. The Reds have 3 or 4 big time 2B prospects in the system that could replace BP. 

  2. Ethanator99 3 years ago


  3. ObamaDinoKiller 3 years ago

    looks like madson will be traded at some point this season

    • Ethanator99 3 years ago

      Low confidence in the Reds to be good this year?

    • garylanglais 3 years ago

      I think it looks more likely that the Reds will never treat Chapman as an RP again. He will either be in the starting rotation come opening day or will be in AAA as a SP.

    •  Dude, Madson WILL NOT be traded this year, are you serious?

    •  Or Marshall is extended in case Madson bolts after the year

  4. garylanglais 3 years ago

    Have to expect this extension will be in the neighborhood of $18m.  Scott Downs signed a 3 year/$15m after the 2010 season and he would be 35 years old before that contract would kick in.  With both being impressive lefty RP’s gotta think the age factor should earn Marshall roughly an extra $1m per season

    •  That feels high to me, as Downs was signed on the open market by a team with money to burn.  We’ll know soon enough though.

      • garylanglais 3 years ago

        What’s the incentive for Marshall to agree to something under that number? Works both ways.

  5. astrostl 3 years ago

    Highest reliever fWAR in all of baseball over the past two years (estimated market value of 21MM).  I’m a Cardinal fan, the reliever market is inflated in general.  This deal hurts me :(

  6. Ethanator99 3 years ago

    Good deal 3/16.5

  7. 16.5 M ??? HAHA. The great off season continues for my Reds.. Another STEAL

    • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

      This matches the highest contract ever given to a non-closing reliever, and you refer to it as a “steal”?  Interesting definition.

      Right now, this is a good deal.  If he becomes an effective closer after this season, it may be a great deal.  However, had he been on the free agent market this year (instead of a trade), he would likely have gotten about the same amount, so “steal” is inacurate.

  8. theobi11111 3 years ago

    GREAT signing

  9. $1529282 3 years ago

    Since when is paying market value a steal? It’s not an awful signing, but they hardly saved any cash on this. It’s not like Marshall was going to get Papelbon money this coming offseason or anything.

  10. slasher016 3 years ago

    This is a fair deal for both sides… right now.  But if Madson walks after the year (expected) then Marshall can be the closer for $5.5M + $1M bonus, $2M less than Madson, and $5.5M less than Cordero was making.

  11. imachainsaw 3 years ago

    sean marshall was one of my favorite, and probably favorite cubs pitcher, so it was a tough pill to swallow when he was traded (though torreyes seems to be worth it). but having watched marshall extensively over the years, I can attest that he’s become a true pitcher, and a great one at that. He’s somewhat mastered the slider over the past two years, and the numbers truly reflect his progress as a pitcher. congratulations reds fan, you’ve got a great one. i think they should even give him a shot to start again, he could be the next CJ Wilson.

    • garylanglais 3 years ago

      Before the details came out on this extension I would’ve called you crazy with that CJ comparison.  But giving him performance bonuses based on games started…the comparison is justified.  It’s amazing that come 2013 Marshall could be a starter, 8th inning set up man, or closer.

      • imachainsaw 3 years ago

         the cubs basically groomed him to handle any of those positions the way they constantly shipped him to and fro between roles.

  12. TophersReds 3 years ago

    Have you ever seen Marshall pitch? He is a shut-down reliever.

  13. foxtown 3 years ago

    Unsurprisingly, two commenters with Reds logos disagree with me.

  14. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Did you read the article before commenting?  It is mentioned there.

  15. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Considering I didn’t know that there was another pitcher until reading the article, and you responded to me wondering who the other contract was, it appears you read slowly.

  16. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    A lot more.

  17. imachainsaw 3 years ago

     …it’s the yankees brah, they play by their own rules

  18. $1529282 3 years ago

    It doesn’t matter what his WAR is. What matters is his market value. On the open market, the bar for setup men was set by Joaquin Benoit at 3/16.5 — exactly what Marshall got. The Reds didn’t save any money on this deal.

    You can’t arbitrarily look at someone’s fWAR and say a signing is good while completely ignoring the texture and context of the free agent market. There’s no surplus value here, and relievers are a volatile commodity. Paying him market value before it was necessary isn’t a steal.

  19. imachainsaw 3 years ago

     >basing actual contracts on fangraphs dollars

    so pujols should be making like $35M and Matt Kemp shoulda signed an extension for $40M/yr, right?
    that fangraphs “stat” is ridiculous, i know it’s based on performance but it ridiculously over values players

  20. imachainsaw 3 years ago

     >basing actual contracts on fangraphs dollars

    so pujols should be making like $35M and Matt Kemp shoulda signed an extension for $40M/yr, right?
    that fangraphs “stat” is ridiculous, i know it’s based on performance but it ridiculously over values players

  21. vtadave 3 years ago

    …and we’re talking about Hal Steinbrenner here.

  22. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    He is currently a non-closer reliever.  During the season immediately prior to signing that contract, he was the closer for Tampa.

  23. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    Soriano was the closer for Tampa in the season prior to signing with the Yankees.

  24. $1529282 3 years ago

    He wouldn’t have closed for them this year, though, meaning that they could basically just have waited until the end of the season and offered him the same deal.

    I don’t see how it was necessary to offer him top-of-the-market value at this stage, when he could easily get hurt or regress.

    The deal COULD end up being good, if Marshall graduates to a certain role. Contracts that are “steals” aren’t usually conditional.

    I don’t call Josh Willingham’s deal because he MIGHT hit 30 HR a season in Minnesota. Erik Bedard’s deal isn’t a steal because he MIGHT pitch well for 150 innings. Etc., etc., etc.

    Cincy paid market value for a good reliever, and did so at a riskier juncture than usual. Could it end up having surplus value based on his performance and/or role? Sure. Does that make it a steal presently? No.

  25. $1529282 3 years ago

    .311 isn’t “really” unlucky. League average and Marshall’s career are both .291… yes he was somewhat on lucky on balls in play, but he was also unbelievably lucky on home runs.

    Marshall posted an unfathomably low HR/FB rate of 2%, when he entered with a career 11.9%, and league average is 10%. Based on xFIP, his ERA should’ve been higher (2.50). Look, I can cherry pick Sabermetric stats too!

    I’m not sure why you’re so adamant on declaring this the deal of the offseason. It’s market value for a very good reliever, but most three-year deals for relievers end up biting the teams that give them out.

  26. $1529282 3 years ago

    Oh, I didn’t understand that you’re exactly 100% right until you repeated your point for the 10th time. But, now that you mention it, you’re right. This is a truly great day for the Reds organization, and Walt Jocketty should be awarded a trophy for this monumental signing.
    Who knew that stubbornly repeating yourself without adding any detail or context eventually made you correct?

  27. $1529282 3 years ago

    Jansen, Papelbon, Uehara, and Robertson also posted xFIPs higher. And 20 points is unlucky, yes, which I said. It’s not “REALLY” unlucky, as you said. It’s probably a pretty standard variation. His HR/FB, on the other hand actually was “REALLY” lucky.

    The point isn’t that Marshall isn’t a good pitcher, it’s that this deal is nowhere near the benchmark for general managerial excellence that you’re making it out to be.

    Three-year deals for relievers rarely work out. Marshall’s HR/FB in particular makes this a risky deal.

  28. …Morneau already did.

  29. srpwrd 3 years ago

    Not risky? $5 million on a pitcher who might get injured when you are going to need all you have to retain both of/either Votto and Phillips? You’re delusional. 

  30. nathanalext 3 years ago

    Yet, stranger things have happened.

  31.  Either that or suddenly Ca$htellini suddenly decided to open his pocketbook wide open for the next several years.

Leave a Reply