There’s a Cubs-Reds rumor making the rounds, reportedly one that originated on The Score here in Chicago. Obviously I can’t catch all the radio rumors myself, so I rely on listeners to pass these along. Since these rumors often spread like a game of telephone, consider this one dubious until confirmed.
The rumor hitting my inbox repeatedly: the Cubs could send Sean Marshall and Jacque Jones to the Reds for Ken Griffey Jr. Keep in mind, this one isn’t even confirmed as a legitimate rumor.
Whether or not this rumor has any legitimacy, let’s discuss. In Marshall I see a strong left-handed starter under the team’s control through 2011. He’s improved his repertoire and should be a cog in the Cubs’ rotation for years. In other words, very valuable.
Griffey is in the midst of another resurgence, but is at significant risk of injury at any given moment. There’s a chance playing right field reduces that, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Griffey makes $12.5MM annually through 2008, plus he’ll be owed a $4MM buyout for 2009. When I began writing this I thought Junior’s contract was a lot worse. It’s really not terrible and would be somewhat offset by Jacque Jones. I can see Griffey approving a trade to Chicago, though he could ask for his contract to be guaranteed through ’09.
I can see how one could consider this trade fair. I wouldn’t trade Marshall for the risk of Griffey, but it doesn’t sound absurd. I still don’t see it happening – why would the Cubs take a hit in the rotation to add more offense? The Cubs have a strong rotation and will need Marshall over the next several seasons. It seems more logical for the Cubs to add a reliever.
Meanwhile, CubDumb reports that the Cubs are actively shopping Michael Barrett right now. While this might aid the pitching staff, it would likely weaken the offense.