Cubs Trade for Kevin Gregg

UPDATE: The Miami Herald says it's for 4-star prospect Jose Ceda. Shiite. Too much, way, way too much. And since Ceda was one of the possible names going to San Diego for Jake Peavy, you have to think that ship is about to sail.

Double check my work if you wish, but I believe Gregg is set to be a free agent after 2009 and is arbitration eligible for this year. He made $2.5M last year.


Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs have acquired Marlins relief pitcher Kevin Gregg. The 30-year old pitcher was the Marlins closer for the better part of two seasons racking up 61 saves and ERA's of 3.54 and 3.41 respectively. He strikes out nearly a batter per inning but walks a few too many guys for my tastes. I'm sure the first reaction will be that Kerry Wood is definitely a goner, but my guess is that it's just a possible back-up plan as Gregg could certainly slide into a set-up role. Even if Wood goes, I'd rather see Carlos Marmol in the closer role.

Of course, whenever a Cubs trade goes down, the first question is who do the Cubs get and the second question is what did they give up? Rosenthal don't have the answer on the second part yet, but I'll update as soon as someone finds out.


ESPN says the Cubs gave up Jose Ceda. If true, that's a bad trade. The Cubs could ahve gotten way more for Ceda.

what is his contract situation?
we blew one of his saves, didn't we?

Gregg is arbitration eligible and can become a free agent after the season. He has 5.002 of service time heading into this season, so he will be over 6 after the 2009 season.

maybe this guy is going to lovely SD

I can't imagine why SD would rather have Gregg than Ceda.

(Yes, I know, they used to have Ceda. My point stands.)

Buster Olney says Ceda was the give.

Awwww poo-poo.

another power arm in the pen is exactly what we need. 7th Greg 8th Marmol 9th Wood.

that would be great, but I fear it means the end of the Kerry Wood Cubbie era.

7th jeff 8th Greg 9th Marmol?

Samardzija may very well start the year in the bullpen, but they're wasting his talents as a reliever. He deserves multiple shots as a starter.


Marquis has shown a tendency to start hot and then go all Siberia on us ... maybe a June or July switcharoo between the two.

It would take a month to stretch him out, if I remember Joba Chamberlain from last year.

Yeah my guess is that this signals not the end of the Wood era, but rather the beginning of the Smarja-as-starter era. Zambrano/Harden/Dempster-or-Peavy/Lilly/Smarja ain't bad.

It's not like our traded pitching prospects ever pan out with the Marl....oh never mind.

Hendry addresses the media in one hour.

I don't think acquiring Gregg means the end of Wood, as Hendry has stated he's still talking to Wood's agent daily, but it would just appear that this trade is currently just to replace Howry and a fallback option in case Wood doesn't resign. That said, Ceda is too much to give up when you consider what the Marlins just gave to the Nats for two more useful pieces in Willingham and Olsen. Ceda doesn't appear to be a lock prospect by any means given his control issues and lack of any pitch outside of a near 100 FB but it's still too much to give up on a setup man who will likely get a bump up to around $4 million in arbitration. It would also seem to nearly put a nail in the coffin on a Peavy trade unless he himself vetoes the deal to the Braves.

If Gregg has a good year, he could be at least a Type B, if not A, after the season right? Is Ceda worth a MLB ready power arm + the potential draft picks?

unless he bombs this year, he's pretty much a guaranteed Type A, it's not hard to get into the top 17% or so of relievers.

That is the key about this deal for me, Ceda for Gregg is horrendous on paper, but Ceda for Gregg and 4 draft picks is a good trade for a team that just got ripped on by a national magazine for how suckstastic its farm is.

that's a leap of faith that the Gregg leaves after 2009, but at least it's an option. I understand not wanting to pour 30M+ into Kerry Wood for 3 yrs and the deal makes financial sense. Giving up Jose Ceda though for Kevin Gregg is still foolish....

I don't think it's a terrible trade, but I'm not a fan either.

I think you guys are overrating Ceda a bit. There's not much chance he'd outperforrm Gregg in 2009, and in 2010, as has pointed out, there's a pretty good chance Gregg is going to turn into two top 60 draft picks.

He likely represents a $4 to $6 million saving over Wood, which can be put towards the Dempster/Lowe/Peavy/Sabathia/Bradley/Ibanez fund.

He's a guy who's shown the ability to close games in the 9th- and that right there is worth at least $4 million in the FA market (see Borowski or T. Jones for reference).

you just don't find too many guys that can top 95 mph consistently and I believe Ceda can. I don't feel like looking for the article, but Baseball America had something on it last year about all the pitchers with a fastball clocked over 95 over the last 5 or so years in the minors. It's pretty much a who's who of good pitchers.

a lot has to do with that I don't think Gregg is all that great. Way too many walks, pitcher-friendly environment, etc, etc...

guess he throws a splitter that he gets away from a lot, maybe he'll get back to it.

I recall that article. How many of those guys weren't able to be successful A ball starters, though? Ceda's not Verlander or Zambrano. Maybe his upside is Mariano Rivera but we he could be the next David Aardsma, as well.

Hey Rob, Andy Sisco is on the phone for you.

Did Andy Sisco hit 95+ consistently? I honestly don't remember. He was suppose to have a good curve I know. He obviously is loaded with talent or the Royals and WSox wouldn't have wanted him.

Sisco's problem is he's an ass who doesn't care about playing baseball. Never really got in shape and got in some serious shit in the minors with the, etc.

Getting Gregg makes complete sense for the Cubs, I just don't like giving up Ceda for it. It being the Marlins though, we can get him back in 3 yrs when he gets expensive for the player or players we drafted with the picks for Wood or Gregg. 

IIRC Sisco threw very hard. Very very hard. I would have to look it up to be sure.

He threw at least 95.

not sure where Sisco is now, I think he had TJ surgery, but if he can top 95, he'll get about 10 more chances in the majors if he wants them.

Bobby Jenks comes to mind. It only took one team for him to turnaround but the Angels were done with his antics as well. Actually probably the reason the Wsox went after Sisco.

all that maybe true, but are we kicking ourselves that we don't have him anymore?

My point is that for every 1 Randy Johnson there are 100,000 Andy Sisco.

And at least with Ceda we got something for him.

While I realize you are being intentionally hyperbolic, I think it's more like for every Randy Johnson there are 500 Andy Sisco. How many guys in the history of the game have thrown the ball in excess of 95 MPH on multiple occasions? Not 100,000.

I think it's more like 1 for 10...the guys who can throw 95 consistently and flame out is a short list.

Farnsworth throws hard.

Sox supposedly shopping Jenks around.

maybe the number is hyperbolic but the point is that just cause a guy can throw that hard, doesn't mean he'll amount to anything special. In fact the odds are that he won't. So, giving up a guy who might be good but probably won't for a known quantity is a good thing.

So, giving up a guy who might be good but probably won't for a known quantity is a good thing.

The Red Sox and Larry Anderson disagree...

there's numerous times where giving up a prospect has proved stupid, this may very well be one of them. Or it may not.

Look, the trade makes sense for the Cubs and Ceda may flame out, so may Gregg to be honest. His ERA and walk rates don't particularly impress me, not for pitching in Florida and the NL East.

On the other hand, the Cubs scouting department is usually pretty good, so we'll see. I just don't like wasting anything useful for a middle reliever. 

But the expectation is that is going to be a middling closer or middle reliever.

I do agree that it's a bad trade if you don't make Gregg the closer, though. $4.5 million or whatever is FA price for competent setup men. It's only his 'proven' closer abiity that makes him valuable. Trading for a 'closer' and pitching him in the 7th, doesn't make much sense.

He sure had a bad home/road split last year when it comes to control 20 BB/ 19 K's on the road. That came out of the blue, it never happened before.

As would the Cubs and George Bell however, who did we give up for Aramis Ramirez? How about Derrek Lee?

honestly, Larry Anderson was a bad example, should have stuck to pitchers. Anderson was one, but Bagwell wasn't.

How about Matt Karchner? 

sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't 

I can't think of an example where a traded a minor league closer and got burned on it. Kazmir is the most recent example of a rent-a-pitcher deal gone bad that I can think of, but I think the Mets got a year and a half of Zambrano, or traded for him with the intent of signing him.

It's pretty rare that a high upside pitcher is moved to a closer's role at such a young age. If memory serves, according to AZ Phil, when we got Ceda he was a one-pitch pitcher, so maybe the Cubs thought having him add two pitches wasn't really reasonable.

Sisco is still in the Sox organization but speaking of which Mike McDougall would fall into that hard throwing failure group as well.

I imagine that Gregg would want to cash in if he had a good 2009, as a decent makes 6-7 mil a year. If Jimbo isnt going Wood, a guy he has a personal friendship with 10 mil a year, I doubt he pays Gregg CL money to be Marmol's set-up guy.


Can anyone predict what JH will say at the Press Conference? I will start:

"Anytime you can get one of the game's premier relievers, you HAVE to do it..."

I better you are pretty close...funny shit!



Your turn.

We can look at the quotes later or tomorrow and see how close we were.

My guess:
"Gregg is a gutsy guy, wants the ball every day. His efforts the last few years have been tremendous. We felt he was the perfect fit for our bullpen."


"We felt he was the perfect fit for our bullpen."

And the winner is

Hendry said Gregg "brings alot to the table."

Doughnut jokes in t minus 4, 3, 2, 1...

Over/under on how many times Hendry says:

"obviously" : 6.5
"quality" : 3.5
"tremendous" : 2.5
"character" : 2.0
"Lou" : 7.5

fwiw, Gregg had knee issues at the end of the season and surgery this offseason. Says he'll be ready by spring training.

He also blew 9 saves last year.

Sounding better as the day goes on!!

WSCR said he's " a better version of Fanrsworth".

how tight are his pants?

Honestly, as Bruce Levine said a couple weeks ago, "Hendry hung on the the wrong lefty (Cotts)"

And, we still do not have a lockdown LH reliever, correct?

you're pulling out that quote after your 2-yr, "Will Ohman is the anti-christ" rants...


Will Ohman

vs. LHB

.197 BA

Did Hendry make a mistake??


maybe I got you mixed up or maybe you're just forgetful...

but wasn't it you constantly ranting that Will Ohman sucks and you don't care how well he does versus lefties? 

ah nevermind, I see your comment #31...


You got me there, ROB G!

It wasn't Hendry that forced Eyre out of town.

Donnie Veal is the Lock down Loogy. Or at least he will be come June.

Confirm by WSCR after Hendry press conference.

Wood wants 3 year deal, Hendry said Cubs could not do it.

works for me. that's all.

Looks to me like (a) no Wood and (b) no Peavy. If Dempster goes, I lose a little optimism.

Dempster wouldn't be too big a loss imo, even w/o Peavy. We get 2 picks and can sign Sheets, Burnett or Lowe instead. 

Well that sucks, because now our bullpen just got a little bit weaker. Kevin Gregg is ok, but that is about it, and he doesn't have an electric arm. I put him more in Dempster territory as a reliever/closer. He is going to frustrate the shit out of fans by walking the tight rope in games.

Hoffman is gone in SD, bring him in. I would rather have him than Gregg.

Does this mean Marmol is our closer now? The 7th and 8th innings are going to be rough without him. I really put Marmol as our team MVP for coming in games like that and shutting the door on teams.

The Wood-Marmol connection was a main reason we won so many games.

gregg/marmol or marmol/gregg doesn't bug me as a 8/9 option.

that said, i'm also comfortable with wuertz/cotts/samninja so that plays a lot into it.

Funny, what I really hope is that Wood doesn't go somewhere and eventually hurt himself as a starter. I'll be rooting for him.

I would not shed a tear if Dempster doesn't come back. Your going to give that many years and that many $$$'s when he has never proven he can do anything good in back to back years?

Let his ass walk and let his new team wonder how he went from a 2.96 ERA one year to a 4.50 one the next. All the while paying a cool 15 or so million a year for that. Mmmm yeah pass.

So if Cubs rotation next year is-


I'm guessing the money not spent on Wood and Dempster equals one great bat or two good bats?

pretty sure if Dempster goes and they don't get Peavy, they'll make a run at Sheets, Burnett or Lowe.

If no Dempster, no Wood, and no Peavy, I'd expect the Cubs to sign Lowe (I'd much rather have him than Burnett or Sheets), Samardzija to be used as a starter (either in the majors or in AAA to get ready for the majors) and for the Cubs to get a lefty bat to play RF either via free agency or trade.

I'm disappointed by this trade, though. Gregg is good not great. You really send off one of your better trade pieces in order to get a good not great reliever? It's not like we have lots of high-upside pitching prospects.

If Dempster doesn't come back and there's no Peavy, the rotation:


I'd feel better with Demp back, myself.

Swisher just got sent to the Yankees.

No way you can give "DL Woody" three years as a closer. I understand. I will miss him as well. HE collected many, many paychecks while not coming close to the pitching mound. It is sad for everyone. But last year was a nice way to finish his career with the Cubs - if it is.

Good point, Rob. That's why you're you and I'm just a stalker.

I put on the other post-

"Kerry understood that our priority right now is to shore up the rotation."

Will refrain from judging until I see how the rest of the moves work out. But initial reaction is "no good shall come of this."

You guys must be crazy. Gregg is a proven MLB reliever, Ceda is not, and may never be. We need the team to be as strong as it can be for this coming season. Ceda for Gregg is an upgrade in that regard. If you could make a similar upgrade 30 times all over the roster, you do it.

my thought isn't that Gregg is a closer... Marmol should be fun in the 9th, but this sure should be an upgrade over Howry.

I understand saying farewell to Woody if he wanted 3 years and even to acquiring Gregg. Not for Ceda though. *Sigh*

I think if Peavy were coming here, he would have been acquired by now. The Pads will string the Braves out for a few more days and then trade him for something like Escobar, Flowers, Boyer, and Reyes.

Even if we make a run at Lowe, Burnett, or Sheets, the field of our adversaries opens up. Lowe wants to return to Boston and Burnett is known to intrigue the Yankees. This could get ugly quick and we're left with a vastly inferior rotation. If Z has a down year and/or Harden gets hurt, we could be looking at a long year.

The problem with the idea about acquiring "one great bat or two good bats" is where do those bats come from? This FA market is much deeper and better in pitching than hitting, and most of the premier bats up for grabs (Tex, Furcal, etc.) are likely to go elsewhere.

Pat Kane--

I'm with you. There was zero chance the Cubs would have Ceda in the big league bullpen in 2009. Zero. Nil. Nada. He would have started the year in AA and if he could continue to find the strike zone (not a guarantee with big Jose), he'd be promoted to Iowa mid-season. Best case scenario he gets a cup of coffee in September and gets ready for a 2010 debut.

And of course, there is the non-trivial chance that he simply flames out.

Gregg replaces Howry at lower cost, Marmol replaces Wood at SIGNIFICANTLY lower cost, Shark stays for the 7th inning, and the Cubs have $6MM to $7MM/year to throw at an Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu. What's not to like? If Hendry can eat half of Marquis' money and move him, too, he's got the coin together to afford Dunn or Abreu.

Cubs fans consistently overvalue our prospects. Ceda for Gregg has the potential to be a long-term loser, but it will almost surely be a short-term winner. I like it.

Sorry to see Woody leave though, my brain says yes but my heart says no.

not sure how anyone can say that Ceda would have 0% chance to be in the Cubs bullpen at some point in 2009 after Marmol, Samardzija, Hart, Petrick, Gallagher, etc have all seen the majors over the last few years. Even if Ceda had started in AA, which I don't think is a give-in since he ended there last year and pitched well, that he would certainly have a shot to be in the majors in 2009.

No Dunn, please. Not going to be nearly worth the coin he gets, and isn't really the sort of middle of the order bat I'd want. I don't think I overvalue contact rates too dramatically, but even with the OBP skills his average leaves a lot to be desired.

Adam Dunn?

Adam Dunn!

adam dunn?

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 7 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 27 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 25 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 46 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 51 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 10 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 46 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 4 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 5 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 23 min ago view