According to the Yankees online transactions, pitching prospect Brett Marshall has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. Marshall was designated for assignment when the Yankees made their Carlos Beltran signing official earlier in the week.
This time last year, Marshall was considered one of the Yankees best upper-level pitching prospects. He wasn’t so much a high-ceiling guy, but he seemed to be a good bet to play some sort of big league role. Baseball America tabbed him as the organization’s sixth-best prospect last year and pegged him as a “durable, sinkerballing No. 4 starter.” He made a rather forgettable Major League debut in May, but he pitched well in two September appearances out of the bullpen.
Problem is, the Yankees 40-man is full and doesn’t have many loose ends. I wrote earlier this winter that Marshall seemed like a strong DFA candidate. Coming off a 5.13 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in Triple-A, there was at least some reason to think he might clear waivers. He also ranked somewhere behind David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno — and maybe behind Jose Ramirez and Manny Banuelos — in the competition for a fifth-starter opening, plus the Yankees have Nik Turley and Shane Greene on their 40-man after solid Double-A seasons. Point is, Marshall was vaguely lost in the shuffle, and the Yankees are going to have to clear several more 40-man spots before this offseason is over, so this move was probably going to be made sooner or later.
We’ll see if the Yankees choose to drop either David Huff or Cesar Cabral once Matt Thornton is added to the roster, or if they eventually make a move involving Vernon Wells.
Associated Press photo