detroit tigers logoAmong the obvious needs by the obvious contenders this year, the Detroit Tigers’ need for bullpen help might be the most obvious. The roster, in all other respects, is absolutely stacked. But so needy were they for back-end bullpen help that they briefly brought back the man (Jose Valverde) who had so disappointed them as closer last year that they’d dumped him in favor of an endless quest for a replacement.

But they may have now made their bullpen move for the week. According to multiple reports, the Tigers today traded 19-year-old outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a PTBNL to the Astros for Jose Veras. The latter has been fantastic for the Astros this year, putting up a 2.93 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP over 43 innings, striking out 9.2 per 9 along the way. The track record says he’s not quite that good, but he’ll cost the Tigers only a little less than $1 million in salary this year, and he comes with a $3.25 million option.

Vasquez was a top 5/10 prospect in the Tigers’ system coming into the season, but he hasn’t really emerged in his second go-around at Low-A (though he’s still just 19). For that reason, it’s tough to peg his value. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him regarded as “falling.” Depending on the PTBNL, though, this is still probably a nice return for the Astros.

The impact to the Cubs here, of course, is two-fold. For one, it probably takes the Tigers out of the market for Kevin Gregg, if they were ever in it. For another, it probably informs the kind of return the Cubs could get for Gregg, who offers similar value to Veras (though clearly less). Gregg is cheaper, but has no 2014 option. Gregg has been just about as effective in 2013, and he has a similarly mixed track record. Gut tells me Veras is a fair bit more valuable, though, and the Cubs won’t be getting a top 10 organizational prospect for Gregg, probably not even one on the downswing.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure the Tigers were ever really interested in Gregg, meaning that this could take a reliever off of the market without impacting the number of teams interested in Gregg. It could also spur an AL Central team like the Indians to want to bolster their own bullpen, perhaps with someone like Gregg.

  • Patrick G

    Orioles willing to part with Bundy for the right deal.

    • Josh t

      Samardzija/Russell/valbuena for Bundy and Gausman. Never going to happen but I’d do it in a heart beat

      • On The Farm

        Well if we are suggesting trades that are never going to happen, but what we would do in a heartbeat, why not Bundy and Gausman for Dave Sappelt

        • Josh t

          Come’on man…seriously? your busting my chops for a hypothetical trade proposal during the heat of the trading deadline? This is a message board meant for discussion. Just because I said I think it will never will happen doesn’t mean you got to hate so much. Lighten up! Have fun!

          • On The Farm

            I was having fun. I thought it was pretty funny how you suggested a trade and followed it up with “never going to happen, but I would do it.” Just seemed like an odd post.

      • CubsFaninMS

        If they did that, it would stop my heartbeat.

        Bundy obviously has huge upside but has a higher chance to bust now. They need two strong, healthy B+ to A- pitching prospects for just Samardzija (IMO)… and to add on the other players.. only a handful of teams would be suitors I would think (Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay).

        As always, though, these trades are simple speculation and opinion. A small fraction of us have seen ANY of the prospects we’re discussing (I’m not in that small fraction) so only a scout is at liberty to make a valid comparison.

        • Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

          I personally dont see how Boston has the pitching prospects for Shark. Webster is and has never been that impressive to me. Barnes is having a hard time at AA. Workman and Ranaudo are good but none of these guys are what I would consider B+ guys. Before this year I would have said Barnes was but not to sure anymore. The lower level lefties like Owens and Ball I like most but not at teh cost of Shark.

          I just wonder if making Shark available would not just make teams looking for pitching help now bite on him. Maybe a team that things they will be in it next year will be willing to make the move for him now. You know you can always hope the Mets think Shark is their answer and they send us D’Arnaud and Syndergaard for him. But what are the odds of that.

          • gocatsgo2003

            Would probably be more of a numbers game with the BoSox — here’s five or six B+ prospects… hope one or two work out for you.

    • ncsujuri

      Would take more than that Josh, but I would think the Sharknado would be the centerpiece. Forget Gausman for the moment and concentrate on just Bundy, and it would make sense for both teams, Orioles are in a win now, Cubs could wait until 2014-2015 when Bundy would be fully recoved from TJS.

      Shark, Baez, Vogelbach is probably getting closer, though to give them the other half of a sweet left side of the infield we might need something else in addition to Bundy in return. It also gets Vogs to an AL club where he’d be able to DH.

      • Jon

        Problem with that is no way the Cubs can take Bundy as the centerpiece in a Shark deal and the Orioles also weakened their system by dealing Delmonico(who I really liked)

      • Josh t

        I think Orioles would never give up both Gausman and Bundy for Samardzija so we’d have to sweeten the pot with Russell who is a legit bullpen arm who is cost controlled and Valbuena as a solid infield bench bat or capable 2nd baseman.

        I don’t think Theo would give that much up but i think it might take that much and maybe more to pry both Gausman and Bundy away from the orioles

        • Jon

          I’d do Shark/Russell for Gausman/Bundy in a heartbeat. But I’m not as high on Russell as others…

          • JayPaul

            Shark, Baez, and Vogelbach would get you close to acquiring a true #1 this offseason. Why would you trade that for a hurt top prospect now?

    • mjhurdle

      I feel like people are falling too much in love with what prospects “might” become.

      when i see people lining up to give Vogs, Baez, Shark + others for a prospect that couldn’t/hasn’t even finish one season in the minors before needing major arm surgery, i just dont get it.

      Could Bundy be great? sure. he may rebound and turn into an absolute workhorse ace Cy Young 2.0. But he could also come back and never be what he used to pre-surgery.

      And to get this injured player, you give up Vogs (which i understand, no position, sell-high guy), Baez (huge upside top level prospect), Shark ( an established MLB starter with #2 and maybe lower level #1 ability/potential), plus others?

      what am i missing that makes me think trading a lot of potential + established MLB talent for a lot of injured potential makes zero sense?

      • Norm

        Nothing…people are talking nonsense if they are talking about trading all those guys for Bundy.

      • CubsFaninMS

        Exactly! I posted a listing of the Top 10 prospects in 2006 for the Devil Rays… and Top 10 prospects in 2008 for the Texas Rangers. They were both generally considered the best farm systems those years in MLB. About 3 to 5 of them on both list even became MLB players and only a couple per list have blossomed into All-Stars or close.

        Samardzija is one heck of a pitcher compared to ANY prospect in the minor leagues, yes even Bradley. Samardzija has proven he has ace POTENTIAL in the major leagues. With the high bust-rate of minor league prospects, we would need multiple high-upside pieces just for Samardzija IMO.

  • Josh t

    Tigers just got robbed by the Astros in this trade. I am extremely jealous cubs could swing a trade like this, but I guess we didn’t have the piece the Tigers wanted. If Russell could land us a deal like this I would blink twice before I pulled the trigger

  • Aaron

    At this point of I were the orioles I would happily take shark straight up for Bundy. Who knows how that TJ surgery will hold up.

    • Brett

      If I were the Orioles, I’d be ecstatic about that deal, too.

    • Josh t

      I’m almost positive the orioles would trade Bundy for Samardzija straight up but no way theo/Jed are trading the shark just for Bundy especially since he just had TJ surgery which increases the risk in the trade and drops bundy’s value

    • Jon

      Of course they would. A hurt Bundy for Shark would be an awful, awful, awful trade for the Cubs.

      I know “medical advances…blah, blah, blah”…but still TJS is TJS.

      • Patrick G

        Not to mention Bundy is a tad undersized for a pitcher and his velocity on top of TJS that would be a terrible trade for the Cubs. Too bad they didn’t declare him moveable before we made some of our trades

      • EQ76

        then again, if there’s ever a team that should be experts on all things TJS, it’s the Cubs.

        • Jon

          The Cubs should be “experts” at knowing that TJS is still huge hurdle, capable at delaying multiple season for pictures and still ending careers.

          When is Vizcaino supposed to start throwing again? 2017?

          • CubsFaninMS

            At the top floor of the hotel they are building near Wrigley Field, Ricketts should build Tommy John physical health facility. It’d be the perfect opportunity.

            Not to complain. I generally love the direction our front office is headed, but the Tommy John surgeries are a little frustrating. The….waiting…!!! Us Cubs fans aren’t used to waiting, are we?

        • EQ76

          Jon- I was making a joke.. I have no desire to make that trade or get anymore TJS guys in the fold.

          • willis

            You and me both. All the bullcrap abotu TJS being routine and so much better than it used to be…no thanks. At least not for this organization. Off the top of my head:

            Vizcaino-God knows when he’ll actually pick up a ball for this organization

            Baker-longer than expected recovery and is throwing beach balls towards the plate.

            Whitenack-huge potential, TJS derailed his velocity and he was sent packing

            Korean dude-he’s been looking ok, but we’ll see

            Fuji-unfortunate but he’s out until midseason at least next season.

            Please no more.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Top 5 Pitching Prospects:

      2010: Stephen Strasburg, Neftali Feliz, Brian Matusz, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis
      2009: David Price, Neftali Felix, Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Cahill, Rick Porcello
      2008: Clay Buchholz, Joba Chamberlain, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Jacob McGee

      Based on these names, it looks like there’s about a 40% chance Dylan Bundy becomes something close to ace material in the Majors. Couple that with the additional risk added on due to his Tommy John surgery and shorter frame (yes, that is debatable), he alone is WAY too much risk for a proven commodity such as Samardzija. Just my thoughts.

  • Kyle

    Gregg has lost all the velocity he had earlier in the season and the results have shown it, even as he’s mostly managed to hold on for the saves. I don’t think we’re getting anything for him at this point. The scouting reports on him must be pretty harsh right now.

    • SirCub

      Yea, he’s lost both velocity and control. The carriage has turned back into a pumpkin.

      • cubmig

        While Gregg was able to save the last two, he can’t seem to get the third-strike-pitch needed to close out an at bat. Giant batters didn’t seem to mind getting behind 2-0 in a count and just wait out Gregg to watch him deal a walk. Gregg labors to where he just creates worry in me as a Cubs fan wanting him to finish-up his job, period. It’s scary now when he comes in.

    • Josh t

      If we were trade Gregg right now. His value has dropped so much I doubt we even could get a prospect of Corey Black’s Caliber. Essentially just a lotto ticket

      • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache


    • ssckelley

      I disagree on the velocity part, he is still hitting 91/92 mph. The difference is the location of his pitches, earlier in the year his stuff was dancing in at the middle of the plate and then cutting while lately everything is up in the strikezone. These past 3 games Gregg has been extremely lucky, the Giants hit Gregg hard but they hit it right at people.

      • Kyle
        • SirCub

          Yea, there’s definitely a downward trend there. Though not too steep.

          What’s much more disconcerting to me is the walks:

          2 in June, 12 in July.

        • CubFan Paul

          I still agree with ssckelley, it’s not velocity, it’s command. Gregg is flat out missing his spots now

        • ssckelley

          So you are showing me a chart that supports my argument, thanks! But seriously, are you watching the games at all? Earlier this year Gregg had so much cut on his pitches he looked damn near unhittable while now he is leaving everything up. I do not need data or a site like fangraphs to tell me what I see.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    While I would love to see the Cubs get something fro Gregg, the reality is that his trade value is either a fringy prospect or combined with another player(s) to get something a little better in quality and/or quantity.

    I’m not expecting much, if anything.

    • ssckelley

      Unless it is a high ceiling/low floor pitcher the Cubs do not have much room on their minor league rosters for “fringy” prospects. Even a player like Vasquez would not do much for me, he might be a top 10 prospect in the Tigers system but I doubt he is even a top 20 in the Cubs system.

      • TulaneCubs

        Come on. Just because we have depth doesn’t mean we should just stop acquiring more depth. We absolutely have room in the system for a prospect in any other team’s top 10, no matter how bad the system. Particularly so if that prospect is a pitcher.

        • ssckelley

          The Cubs just gave a way a fringy middle infield prospect to the Astros for international spending money (Torreyes). Unless the prospect was a high minor league player (AA or AAA) I doubt the Cubs will go for fringy unless it is a pitcher (like Black).

      • Jon

        There is plenty of garbage pitching still in the system, just look at KC and Daytona’s roster. This include guys way too old for their league and no future at all.

        • ssckelley

          I agree.

        • AB

          Every minor league system is like that Jon.

          Cubs are actually young for their league for both Daytona (cubs 22.2 yrs – league average 22.8) and Kane County (cubs – 20.4 league average – 21.3

        • Patrick G

          How is Daytona’s pitching garbage? Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards might be our 2 best pitching prospects, and Pineyro and Black have a nice upside.

          • willis

            Yeah Daytona’s pitching is pretty damn good with the addition of Edwards and they were ok before that. KC’s pitching is God awful.

          • ssckelley

            Daytona’s is getting better but there is still room for improvement and Kane County is horrible right now. But it will get better, there are some interesting pitchers down at Boise and Arizona that will get a shot next season.

            • On The Farm

              Underwood, Maples, Blackburn + all of the 2013 draftees should give KC some awesome pitching for KC next season. (I am not sure on how advanced the college pitchers we drafted are, but maybe even some of them can trickle through to A+)

              • On The Farm

                I should have said all the college pitchers currently at Bosie should be at KC/Daytona. I realize Cliffton and others might be slated for short season ball.

                • Mr. B. Patient

                  Maybe a few of this years college pitchers can get a few starts in Kane or Daytona soon. It is being reported the Cubs DL’ed Austin Kirk and Ben Wells. (some reports are they were released). Does anyone know if this is true?

                  I’d love to see how some of the new pitchers handle going thru the opposing lineups more than once.

                  • On The Farm

                    Its possible. It could be they are limiting their innings in Bosie so that they can give them a few starts in KC/Daytona.

                    Ben Wells being released would be very concerning. I thought he was the #2 on that staff after Johnson (now #3 with Edwards).

                    • Mr. B. Patient

                      I read somewhere he had a clause in his contract that said he had to be added to the 40 man by 9/1/2013. I that’s so, I could see it. I’ve also read his velo has been way down this year.

                    • On The Farm

                      That is too bad, as thin as Chicago is in the pitching department it would have been nice to hang on to him, but I agree he wasn’t worth a 40 man spot.

                    • TWC

                      I’m fairly certain that the Ben Wells-to-the-40-man roster rumors were all based off one local newspaper report (in which the reported appeared to get his facts confused). I believe, too, that the “deadline” mentioned in that report was Spring Training of this season.

    • Hookers or Cake

      I’d take listening to a top 20 org guy farting through a walkie talkie for Gregg at this point.

      • JayPaul


      • DarthHater

        If you’re going to listen to farting, it is always best to do so remotely. Good call.

  • Clark Addison

    If we can’t get anything of value, might as well keep Gregg. It’s not like we have a bunch of closer candidates ready to take over.

    • caryatid62

      Pedro Strop and Blake Parker say hello.

      • willis

        Strop makes me smile. I don’t know what happened to him in Baltimore, but he’s looked as good as he did last year so far with the Cubs. He’ll give up some runs eventually, but he’s been a very exciting relilef arm to watch and has been nails.

    • JayPaul

      I’ d prefer they auditioned Strop and Parker in that high leverage situation and get a look at some of the AAA relievers(ie Lim, Schlitter, Negrin), guys who have to be put on the roster or become free agents(ie Hatley, Mateo) or guys who will be out of options next year(ie Cabrera, Coleman).

  • SalukiHawk

    Eventually Blake Parker will be given a shot, and Stroop will likely slide in there if Gregg goes. To say there isn’t anyone ready to take over isn’t quite correct, in my opinion. Who knows whether either will be effective in that role, but I think either or both will get a chance.

  • someday…2015?

    Scott Downs to the Braves for Cory Rasmus.

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  • AD

    I think the chances that Shark gets traded are quite slim. If traded, I think it will be to Arizona. They need to make a push in order to catch the Dodgers and Shark could help them do that. Also seems to fit the Dbacks mentality and gives them additional years of control.

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