While there has not been much excitement surrounding the Chicago Cubs this offseason, they continue to make low-risk moves with nice upside. It appears that they are just trying to take flyers on young players and hoping that a few of them pan out. Brett Marshall is the latest young flyer that the Cubs landed, and he appears to have a good chance of performing well.
The 23-year-old Marshall was almost universally a top-10 prospect in the New York Yankees‘ system heading in to 2013. Now, the Yankees do not have a very impressive of a farm system, but Marshall is still a pitcher with plenty of upside. He had a down year in 2013 at Triple-A (5.13 ERA and 4.4 BB/9), but his 7.8 K/9 is an improvement over his career average and that is always nice to see.
Marshall was just a victim of the Yankees’ roster crunch. I highly doubt they had given up on his talent, but just simply did not have the room to keep him on the 40-man roster. Even though the Yankees had Marshall coming out of the bullpen for a short time last season, the Cubs are definitely going to give him a chance to compete as a starter.
Marshall is known for keeping the ball down with his sinking fastball that sits in the low 90s. He also throws a straight fastball that can reach around 94, with a decent slider and a very good change-up.
This move has almost zero risk for the Cubs. Marshall will almost certainly have a chance to compete for the fifth starter’s job out of Spring Training. If he does not get the job, it’s not a big deal because he still has minor league options remaining. The Cubs can let him work things out in Triple-A until they feel he is ready.
I really like this move for the Cubs. He has a chance to compete at the big league level, and at 23-years-old, he has a chance to become a major future piece within the organization. With almost no risk involved regardless of what happens, this was a good move by the Cubs’ front office.