From 2011, Marshall throws over to first base during the 7th inning against the Reds at Wrigley. (Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE)

Marshall Plan in Place with Extension

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When Reds GM Walt Jocketty pulled the strings to trade Dave Sappelt, Travis Wood and Ronald Torreyes for lefty reliever Sean Marshall, there were, at first, a mixed bag of feelings. Some felt that same mixed bag when the deal that brought Mat Latos to Cincinnati was made: the Reds once again surrendered too much in the deal. Three for one (especially since two of three had MLB experience) is usually a bitter pill to swallow.

Well, that pill, if you’re still one that’s trying to swallow it, got a little more costly to the tune of a three-year, $16.5 million extension. Marshall’s new deal also has bonuses for relief and, should the need arise, starting appearances. There is also a partial no-trade clause. And this deal doesn’t kick in until after 2012 securing Marshall as a Red through the 2015 season.

This deal shows a couple of things to me.

One, the Reds mean business beyond just 2012. You don’t lock a guy up for three years just for the services of one. Yes, I see the partial no-trade clause and wonder. Let’s think about it though. If the Reds (unfortunately) crash during 2012, there is still the means to keep Marshall a Red.

You can look at the “stalled” talks between the Reds and Brandon Phillips. You can look at the deals for Ryan Ludwick (one year, $2.5 million with 2013 mutual option) and Ryan Madson (one year, $8.5 million with 2013 mutual option). Take these three situations and you can easily surmise the opposite point I stated. Those points are legitimate concerns aside from the obvious “contract” that hovers over the team.

Let’s not forget something Marshall said (via Mark Sheldon)…

“If the opportunity arises and I happen to be handed the ball in the ninth inning or 10th inning, I think I am more than capable of doing it,” Marshall said. “I continue to have confidence in whatever inning I am pitching — the seventh, eighth or ninth.”

That quote leads me to point number two. Marshall…maybe…the closer? Well, not for 2012. Maybe beyond? Maybe not at all, but it’s still a possibility.

Depends on many things. Depends on how the Reds perform this season. Depends on the level of “happiness” Ryan Madson attains as a Red. Depends on how the Reds look for 2013. Yes, you have to take an honest look beyond this season to ascertain that one. You could say 2012 will truly be a performance-based deal, period.

Locking up Marshall may not have been the front office’s #1 priority, but working out this deal should have Reds fans even more excited for 2012.

You know of at least one guy that won’t be leaving so soon…

For further analysis of the Marshall extension, check out Joe Soriano’s reaction over on Call to the Pen
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