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Source: Cubs, Reds close on Marshall deal

The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are close on a deal that would send reliever Sean Marshall to Cincinnati in exchange for left-handed pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Wood, who turns 25 in February, was 6-6 with 4.84 ERA in 18 starts last season with the Reds. Wood beat the Cubs in his major league debut on July 1, 2010, allowing two runs on two hits in seven innings. He finished his rookie season 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 17 starts.

Wood pitched 10 games at Triple-A Louisville last season, going 2-3 with a 5.33 ERA.

Marshall, 29, is one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball. Last season he went 6-6 with 2.20 ERA and had 34 holds, tied for second in the majors among left-handed relievers. That was also a single-season team record.

Marshall is set to make $3 million in 2012, and he will be a free agent after the season.

The potential loss of Marshall means John Gaub, James Russell and Scott Maine will have an opportunity to move up as a primary setup man from the left side.