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kevin gregg cubsI just don’t think I can write about Kevin Gregg anymore without immediately first thinking about just how implausible this all is. And how much of a credit that implausibility is to the front office.

ESPN’s Buster Olney just reported that the Chicago Cubs are receiving “multiple hits” on the aforementioned closer, whom Olney calls a “classic sell-high” piece. That is indeed what Gregg has evolved into, as he’s remade himself into a precise control/heavy-sinker/few-mistakes type of reliever. The numbers are great, but the performance to the eye has been just as good.

A robust market for Gregg can only help the Cubs’ efforts to shop him before the Trade Deadline, even if the value in trade isn’t going to knock your socks off. (I dug into it recently, and the kind of return the Cubs could see for Gregg might surprise you, though.)

“Multiple hits” on Gregg is also great news for the Cubs – assuming they want to shop him, which, like, duh – because it increases the possibility that they could find a team that wants multiple pieces from the Cubs, thus improving and consolidating the trade return. Gregg, alone, might get you a prospect or two worth knowing (but not loving). Gregg and Scott Feldman? Gregg and David DeJesus? Gregg and Matt Garza? Those are the kinds of deals that could really generate a serious return.

Apropos, perhaps, that, on the day the Cubs DFA Carlos Marmol because his trade value has vanished, the man who replaced him as closer – who happens to be the man Marmol, himself, replaced a few years back – is receiving “multiple hits” on the trade market because his value is surprisingly high.

  • EB

    Call me crazy, but I actually think the Cardinals would be a perfect fit for a Kevin Gregg trade. They need bullpen help, and we would get a talented minor leaguer or two in return out of one of the top farm systems in the league. Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen since they are division foes.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think the Cubs would have no problem trading Gregg to the Cardinals, but I do think the Cardinals would have a problem giving a serious talent to the Cubs. In fact, they’d probably try to send a secretly flawed piece.

      • EB

        Good point, but they are pretty desperate for bullpen help. The question becomes are they desperate enough to give talent to the Cubs?

      • Rich H

        That is what they always do. Very few traded pieces for the Cards ever play out for the value that the receiving team actually thought. The last Cardinal piece that worked out in favor of the other team was Dan Haren.

        • mister_rob

          chris perez has been pretty good for cleveland

          • Rich H

            I keep forgetting about him.

            • cubzfan

              The Cubs could probably get him for Gregg.

          • fromthemitten

            Chris Perez is getting hammered on his rehab assignment and he got arrested for having a shitload of weed delivered to his house (not that there’s anything wrong with having a shitload of weed delivered to your house, but organizations tend to frown down upon that)

            • Brandon

              Unless you get busted.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I don’t want to deal with the Cardinals. I just have that terrible feeling that the prospect we’ll get in return will be a prospect that is junk and won’t pan out.

    • Scott

      I do like the idea of getting a prospect or two from a division rival in a year that the cubs are out of the running. Steal some of their future. Gregg would not come back to haunt us for years to come.

  • nkniacc13

    I am starting to wonder if the cubs are going to go with the combining route and maybe pair Feldman and Gregg with an OF and have Garza as maybe the only stand alone piece unless Soriano gets moved.

  • mak

    What was more improbable: Gregg becoming a dominant closer in 2013, or Shark becoming a legit ace in 2012?

    • willis

      Legit ace is a little much. He’s a good starting pitcher. He isn’t an ace.

      • Jason P

        Last year he sure wasn’t, but this year, a 3.39 ERA and near the league lead in strikeouts has him awfully close to ace territory. If he has a second half that matches or exceeds his first half, then he’s got to be in the discussion for top 20 pitchers in baseball.

        • willis

          No doubt he’s a great pitcher. I think “ace” is a little much at this point. If he keeps going like he’s going, then yeah, he’ll be in the discussion of great pitchers. I love Shark and love seeing him doing well. If he can become ace like, that’s great for this team.

          • cubzfan

            What’s the dividing line between “great pitcher” and “ace” in your thinking? Big game performance? Ability to retire great hitters?

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Agreed, Samardzija is a good pitcher but definitely not an ace. He has ace stuff but not the command and consistency is not there (yet). Their are few true Ace pitchers in the league. Ace’s are guys who go out there and you can confidently say that every time he goes out he will dominate. Ex: Verlander (i know not his best season), Price (not this year but past yrs), Kershaw, Wainwright, Harvey (blossoming ace), or king Felix. Samardzija is a good pitcher and has #2 starting pitcher potential but not an ace. Maybe one day if he learns to be more consistent.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          how are you going to say he has #2 potential when he’s currently our #1 and pitching great?

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            On a legit Worldseries competing team I think Samardzija is a #2. A #2 starter in my opinion should be more dependable then he is. I think he would be more of great #3 starter on a Worldseries team. Don’t get me wrong he’s good pitcher but he’s still not as consistent as you’d like

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Isn’t a #2*

            • Scotti

              I’ll put this up on the message board because it appears my reply would likely disappear into Internet oblivion, but suffice it to say, if Samardzija was on an actual “World Series contending team” he would have an actual team behind him. A good defensive team, a good offensive team, a good bullpen and even a coaching staff that could help it’s star players out of their struggles every now and then. That would certainly affect Samardzija’s “consistency.”

              • X the Cubs fan

                That makes total sense because when good players struggle it’s usually mental mistakes. When your teams always losing you develop a losing mentality.

        • josh2

          I always thought of an *ace as being the staff ace, i.e. the best starter on the team.

          • mudge

            I think he’s a one and 7/8.

          • scorecardpaul

            so josh2, if the Cubs trade away their top 5 or 10 starting pitchers and bring up a starting staff from the minors would you still call one of them an ace??

            • X the Cubs Fan

              a staff ace

            • Alex S.

              Actually, if you were to do that, I believe the entire scheme of things changes and the team is just referred to as “The Marlins”

  • Steve124

    How about these trades….

    Garza, Navarro = joc Peterson
    Feldman, Barney=Eduardo Rodriguez
    Gregg, dejesus= Raymond Fuentes, etc.
    Soriano= anyone

    • Steve124

      I think Joc Peterson from LA is a guy who can play next year and the dodgers backup catching, and starting for that matter are pretty weak.

      • Rebuilding

        I like each of your deals and think they aren’t too unrealistic assuming its a high upside arm with Fuentes. I’ve been stumping for Joc Pederson for awhile. I root for the Dodgers every night to stay in the race because Coletti is dumb enough, and his seat is hot enough, to make a bad trade involving Pederson or Lee

        • CubsFaninMS

          After reading the scouting report on Zach Lee, I’m concerned with his ability to live up to the hype. I think he has the potential to be a decent #3 pitcher in the MLB. He doesn’t seem to be very dominant. Then again, I’ve never seen him pitch in person. If anyone’s seen him do that, feel free to chime in.

    • Frank

      I tinkered around with your list and I came up with a better return.

      Garza, Navarro = joc Peterson
      Feldman, Barney=Eduardo Rodriguez
      Gregg, dejesus= Raymond Fuentes, etc.
      Soriano= Beer vender with fully stocked cooler.

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        That’s a lot to give up for Soriano. Not sure if a GM would go for that.

        • Rich H

          Soriano has value. He could have been traded before the season if the Cubs were willing to just pay part of his deal and get rid of him but they wanted value back and could not get it. I do not think that has changed so I doubt that he gets moved unless it is to a team that needs other things as well and we can get a good return.

      • http://www.opportunity.org. seamhead

        Bottles or cans?

    • X the Cubs Fan

      we could a little more value on all of them

      • Steve124

        I agree just wanted to start with something that is reasonable for each team. I think a #20 type prospect could be added to all of them

        • X the Cubs Fan

          agreed but Garza for Joc Pederson would have to include another top 15 type guy because id rather have Hedges. (:

  • mister_rob

    I dont like the “how much of a credit to the front office” part of the opening paragraph

    How many scrap heap pitchers have we added over the last 2 years? Twenty? 19 of them stunk and one works out and we should give them credit? They pretty much claim every pitcher other teams lets go. And none of them (except gregg) contribute anything worthwhile

    • Steve124

      Most of those pitchers claimed are between the ages of 25-27 and have a ton of upside and we now have three of them extra in AAA. Atleast one of these guys will probably make the big league team next year.

      • Drew7

        You do understand that transactions like those are also common with every other team, right?

        • mister_rob

          mike macdougal, trever miller, kameron loe, hisanori takawhatever, dontrelle, manny corpas, cory wade, justin germano, rodrigo lopez, seth mcclung, jairo asencio, zach putnam, jaye chapman, horacio ramirez

          thats off the top of my head in the last year or so. You think that amount of actual crap is common?

    • Rebuilding

      I would rather the FO pick up 20 of these guys for relatively nothing and 1 work out than pick up 0 and 0 work out. What’s the harm given where the organization is? No other team in baseball wanted Gregg and now we are talking about getting a prospect for him. Who should get the credit (other than Gregg himself)

      • Pat

        And we’ve had one if the worst bullpens in the league for the last couple of years. Not sure if that’s worth the trade off. Yes we were going to be bad regardless, but those moves have hardly been a net positive thus far.

        • wvcubsfan

          Your point? How would not picking up those pitchers made the pen better? Unless you think the player we let go was better than the player we picked up. So far I can’t think of that situation happening.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Feldman, Villaneuva, Gregg, Camp (the 2012 version), Maholm. I think they’ve done pretty well, although we won’t know how successful the Maholm deal was until at least another year or two.

  • Jordan

    So if they trade Gregg who is the closer?

    • willis

      Parker I would think. He has some experience in the minors doing so, and has shown to be ok thus far in the bigs.

    • Tobias

      Russell?

      • demz

        no.

      • cubzfan

        That would get my vote. Or, an arm they get as part of one of the deals.

  • Rebuilding

    Assuming some of the other deals go through we probably won’t need one. It would be fun to see Camp thrown out there as our closer though *sarcasm*

    • nkniacc13

      They need to trade camp for a ptbn. That would make 4 of them or cash options for the cubs

  • David

    I vote for combining guys to trade. Would prefer the higher rated prospect in return, even if it’s a 2 for 1. It’s go time… Time to start winning.

  • Rich H

    The part of this I like is that Stark said today that Detriot would be willing to part with Castellanos in the right deal. I know he was talking about Paplebon but any time I see Detriot parting with young talent I want see if we can get some as well.

    • Rebuilding

      It’s too bad Infante is actually playing ok for them this year. I always think Barney would be a good addition to that team (and if Peralta gets suspended doubly so). They seem to want to keep Smyly in the bullpen this year so they might be interested in Garza. Include Gregg and Russell and who knows

      • Rebuilding

        Actually they need another good LH outfield bat. Dirks and Garcia aren’t the answer this year

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          How about Garza, Russell, and Sheirholtz for Castellanos and Rondon?

          • X the Cubs Fan

            and Casey Crosby

          • EB

            I’d go Barney, Wood or Garza, and maybe Gregg for Castellanos. Getting rid of Barney would solve the Baez dilemma, as we could move Castro to 2nd.

            • Scott

              There is no Baez dilemma just yet.

          • Cub Style

            I’ll pass

  • nkniacc13

    I know the FO will listen on Barney but I wonder if they may not look harder at moving him than they did last year

  • Carew

    I feel like a Garza-Gregg to the Tigers would be good too. I dont know much about the Tiger’s youngins though.

  • cubsin

    I’ve never understood trading a valuable commodity for several prospects. I can understand adding a second, much lesser prospect in such a deal to balance the scales, but getting two or three somewhat similar prospects instead of one high ceiling guy drives me up a wall.

    • http://Yahoo.com brandon

      Theres no guarantees so you get multiple players to increase the odds of having a beneficial return

  • Mr. Gonzo

    I wonder if we don’t see many triggers pulled on many of these trades until after July 2nd, with some interesting, smaller pieces go for pick position next year… yet the bullets are loading quick. Whiskey quick.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Rusell and Gregg
    for
    Drew Smyly LHSP (MLB)
    Matt Hoffman LHRP (AAA, #13)
    Ramon Cabrera C (AAA, #18)

    • nkniacc13

      no chance det says yes

      • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

        Barney (Infante is a FA in ’14, Barney’s 1st arb year is ’14)
        Russell (replaces Smyly in the bullpen, we’ll use him as a starter)
        Gregg (becomes their closer)

  • Cheryl

    Will the FO listen on Castro? He may be a turnaround candidate for some club and he’s young enough that if you combined him with Feldman you’d get a monster return. I’m not sure I’d make this trade but wonder about him. I suspect 85% here would say no way should he be traded.

    • TonyP

      The front office will listen to offers for their own Mothers……..

      • Cheryl

        You may be right.

    • Rich H

      The only way you trade Castro is if you get blown away. Like say the Mariners come calling offering both of their stud pitchers and the kid they have playing short at AAA. Or the Mets decide they need a short stop now and offer up a bunch of kids to get him. Something like that. You do not cater to a deal but you have to be willing to listen.

      • Cheryl

        That’s why I said a monster offer. They may be willing to listen like TonyP said, but it has to be so good they can’t turn it down. What if the Mariners offered or another team offered two major league ready pitchers and a stud catcher like this Joc for Navarro and Castro? I’m not as good at suggesting a deal as some, but they do need pitching and a decent catcher.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          It would have to have Tijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen as the centerpiece’s.

          • Rich H

            i think if the Mets came calling with Wheeler and Shaadgardner (or how ever you spell it) at the center it would get the Cubs attention.

            • X the Cubs Fan

              somewhat but he did say Mariners

          • X the Cubs Fan

            *Taijuan

    • CubsFaninMS

      There’s two concepts I want to throw out there. First off, there’s the “buy in bulk and save” concept, which saves the buyer money, bulk being the other team in this case. The second concept is “buy low/sell high”. If you’re in the stock market, the last thing you want to do is buy high and sell low, unless you’re confident the low will be.. well.. lower. So to tie those in together, packaging Castro would provide a weaker return for us unless someone takes on the majority of his salary. Getting rid of Castro right now is a good move only if Castro is this bad for the next 5 years or worse. Do we expect that from him? Extremely doubtful. He’s been a Top 5-type shortstop for two years. In my opinion, the best thing we can do is hang in there and see how he responds to adversity. It’s sink-or-swim for him this year… and it’s a good year to do it. We’re not in contention. Sorry if my post comes off a little “sarcastic”, but I use theories to emphasize points sometimes.

      • Rich H

        We are not suggesting moving Castro just what it would take for the FO to even pick up the phone. Now would be the only time that anyone would probably even try to call on Castro because he is affordable and locked in. If another FO thinks that he is going to be moved then they will see what it would take. We see him has having his lowest value where the front office for most of these clubs would look at it as their only chance to get a high ceiling guy that is struggling.

  • B_Scwared

    Whether it is Gregg, Garza, or insert player name here _____, I think the FO goes about trading players a little differently than last year. I think they will make some trades earlier so they don’t get burned by injury risks (Garza), have players implode (Gregg) or just have general bad Cubs like strike them. This would also increase the number of players may get traded.

    • nkniacc13

      The difference this year from last is that there maybe more buyers and fewer sellers so the price might be good enough earlier than it was last year. I could also see this Aug being a busier time than normal

  • The Dude Abides

    Trade him sooner rather than later, don’t take a chance he comes down to earth a bit by the end of July. Tonight works…

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    I think the Cubs trade a package to SD to get Hedges the highest ceiling catcher in the minors.

  • Adam

    I think the Padres are going for it, and with the way their franchised is structured, if the Cubs could trade over Garza with a little cash, possibly add in a minor leaguer, maybe they can nab Hedges and an upside arm.

    • Patrick G

      I don’t see the Cubs trading Garza for a position player. They need almost MLB ready arms

      • http://deleted cub2014

        i agree patrick g and if they can sign Garza and want to
        win next year they have to keep him.

      • Michael

        I disagree while yes we need pitching its hard not to want a top catching prospect as well since that’s a position of weakness also in the farm. It’s the only position besides pitching that the team should look to acquire as well

      • Dynastyin2017

        So answer this: If the Cubs get 2 offers for Garza and one is a top 20ish (in all of baseball) OF prospect and the other is a top 80ish (in all of baseball) starting pitcher, who do you take?

        • nkniacc13

          may depend on what else is in the deal and where the prospects are at in relation to majors

        • Michael

          That’s one of those impossible questions to answer it really factors on the players involved not just rankings.

      • Rebuilding

        I don’t agree with this. Going into the draft everyone repeated the mantra that you don’t draft on need but take best available player. I think our trading philosophy should be the same. First of all, you can’t count on any of the guys in the minors so a position of strength might become a position of weakness. Second, if we have 4 really good SS we can trade those guys for pitchers when the time is right

  • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

    [img]http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b638/MasterGonzo11/There-Will-Be-Trades-2_zps65f14eda.jpg[/img]

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Did you make that? Because it’s fan-freaking-tastic, and I’m going to co-opt it if you did.

      • Mr. Gonzo

        I don’t normally photoshop-n-tell… But yeah, have some fun with it. I love what you are doing here. Keep up the magnificent work.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Sweet. Nicely done, and thanks.

    • YourResidentJag

      Nice

  • YourResidentJag

    Well, since Theo is good at disguises, maybe he dress up players and get gold in return. [img]http://www.massholesports.com/2010/05/theo-epstein-wears-disguise-at-pearl.html[/img]

  • Oswego chris

    With his current hair, Rickie Weeks looks like one of Jabba the Hutt’s skiff guards in Return of the Jedi…those guys who end up in the Sarloc pit

    • Tobias

      Ah, the Weequay.

  • Jimmy James

    Nate!

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Would Garza, Feldman, James Russell and Barney be enough for Gausman, Chris Tillman and Schoop (plus some throw in prospects)?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Orioles have no interest in Garza

      • X the Cubs Fan

        They had no interest in Garza when he hadn’t pitched yet

    • Rich H

      The Orioles have stated that Gausman is not available. I really expect them to be more in on Feldman and Barney but you never know.

  • EricR

    I’ve sort of developed a man-crush on Gregg since his triumphant return. I hate to see him go but I hope we net a big fish.

  • Die hard

    Theos selective impatient impertinence today with Marmol and Stewart sends the wrong signals to rest of organization that not all players treated equally.. Castro pampered but others not so much… And why no Hairston ? … It’s like Theo is making it up as he’s going along seeing what sticks… Not the button down image Ricketts used to…

    • gocatsgo2003

      Did you just discover the thesaurus button on your computer?

      • Die hard

        In fact I cut back so as to reach a larger audience … But I can ramp it up to infinity if needed to make a point … BN allows just enough latitude to be misunderstood

        • davidalanu

          Its not BN that limits your ability to be understood.

          • MichiganGoat

            +1

  • Mick

    Ticket Questions: I’m taking a trip to Chicago next week and am looking for tickets to the Friday 3:05pm game against the Pirates. Am I better to buy online at about $75/ticket (w/fees and delivery) for Section 222 row 20 or are there plenty of scalpers where $75/ticket could get me much better seats?

    • Mr. Brent Kennedy

      I was there on Sunday, on a rooftop actually, and a client wanted to see inside the ballpark. In the third inning, upper deck tickets were going for $50/seat through the scalpers. I’m not sure about the prices for 200 level. The floor is at least $50. My guess closer to the $75.

    • HackAttack

      Don’t waste your money at Wrigley. Go the Kane County who are at home that weekend.

    • willis

      Depending on weather that day, you’re better off taking in the first 2 or so innings at a bar, then walking around seeing what you can get in for. Or hell you can probably get lower than that on craigslist also. But when I was up there, the weather was terrible, so we hung around a block from the ballpark until the 3rd, found some dude giving 200 level tix for $15 a pop. With the apathy and attendance where it is, that’s you best $$ saving bet for the best seats. But, word of advice, just make sure the seats are together.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    13 mil a year to watch this disaster for four years. What were they thinking? Just what they needed another albatross contract.

    • Rebuilding

      I’ll preface this by saying that I didn’t think Jackson was a bad signing. In retrospect, you wonder if they panicked a little when they didn’t get Sanchez. There is a reason this guy has bounced around so much – he’s mad maddingly inconsistent. He’ll string together 3-4 good starts in a row before the season is over to make his stats look ok

  • http://Yes Dude

    Dan Haren 6+ era would be better than having to pay Edwin Jackson 40 mil.

  • Bricks&Ivy

    Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg, David DeJesus to the
    Pirates for Jameson Taillon, Andrew Oliver, Nick Kingman.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’d chuck in the ivy, the scoreboard, Lake Michigan, and the secret recipe for Chicago style pizza to make that deal, but I don’t see Pittsburgh having any interest.

      • X the Cubs fan

        I kind of like the Ivy it’s one of the only positive things about Wrigley. I would however give them our jumbotron

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