Since it was a one-year deal, the Reds don’t have insurance on the deal Madson signed this offseason, which brought him to Cincinnati on an $8 million contract. Madson was set to replace Francisco Cordero as the team’s closer this season.
In his place, the Reds will roll, at least right now, with former Chicago Cub Sean Marshall, who was acquired earlier this offseason for Travis Wood, among others. Marshall will get his opportunity to close, while fireballer Aroldis Chapman will set up for the lefty.
But without an experienced closer at the back end of the bullpen, since Marshall has been a setup guy for much of his career, could the Reds go out and seek other options at some point?
If they do, expect Carlos Marmol to be one of those options.
Marmol’s name has been floating out there in trade rumors for much of the offseason, with the Cubs in something of a rebuilding mode. They’re looking to turn their “short-term” assets into long-term ones, and Marmol could be one of those guys, whether it’s to the Reds or a different club.
Obviously, I expect the Reds to have some interest in a talented pitcher like Marmol, who has some of the best stuff in baseball when he’s on his game. But I don’t see the Cubs dealing him to the Reds, or anyone at this point.
Trades to a division rival, in really any sport, are something of a rarity. The Cubs already swung a deal with the Reds for one of their top two relievers, it’s hard to imagine them doing it again for the other one.
But the bigger reason is Marmol’s value right now. It’s hard to turn Marmol into a long-term asset when he’s coming off of the worst season of his career, which included a 4.01 ERA and 10 blown saves. If the Cubs are going to deal Marmol, they’ll wait and see if he puts together a strong first half and can sell him high at the deadline, rather than deal him now.
So while it’s pretty easy to say that the Reds could have interest, I don’t think the Cubs have much interest in dealing Marmol right now, not because they are against dealing him, but because his value has the potential to be much higher in a couple of months. Besides, there are much worse combinations the Reds could have at the end of their ‘pen than Chapman and Marshall.