The Cincinnati Reds are likely to lose closer Francisco Cordero to free agency, leaving a gap in their bullpen. The Chicago Cubs entered the offseason with at least one ace reliever, but they certainly aren't just an ace reliever away from contending.
The two teams matched up, put aside the stigma of intra-division trades, and are reportedly close to a deal that would send Travis Wood and two prospects to the Cubs in exchange for lefty reliever Sean Marshall. From Ken Rosenthal:
The Reds and Cubs are in the advanced stages of trade discussions that would send left-handed reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, according to major league sources.
Marshall has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last two seasons:
To put those numbers in perspective, Marshall turned every hitter he faced in 2011 into 2010 Cesar Izturis:
The Reds could certainly use Marshall as a closer if they decide to, or they could acquire another pitcher and move Marshall back to his more familiar setup role.
Travis Wood is a 24-year-old left-handed starter who took a little step back in 2011 after a very nice debut the season before. He provided depth for the Reds, and was likely going to be without a rotation slot again this season after the Reds traded for Mat Latos.
ESPN Chicago is reporting that the Cubs are also getting two minor leaguers in the deal. The trade would be the first between the two teams since the Buck Coats-for-Marcos Mateo swap of 2007 that rocked the baseball world.