Following the much-anticipated trade of the market's top starter, Matt Garza, the Chicago Cubs are in discussion with the New York Yankees about outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Next in line as the Cubs continue to fuel the trading frenzy appears to be closer Kevin Gregg.
According to MLB Trade Rumors' Tim Dierkes, Gregg has indicated that he would like to move to a contender. Dierkes cites Chicago Sun Times' Gordon Wittenmyer's conversation with the right-hander. Wittenmyer stated that Gregg "relishes a chance to pitch in the playoffs for the first time since he was a setup guy for the Angels in 2005." Gregg himself said that he would like contenders to target him:
“Garza’s a headline piece, but I think that in the baseball world, people are looking for relievers. I hope I’m on that list.”
Gregg seemingly came from nowhere when the Cubs lost Kyuji Fujikawa to injury and demoted Carlos Marmol (since traded) from the closer's role; both pitched ineffectively overall anyway. The Dodgers released Gregg -- even though he had a terrific Spring Training with them (one run in 11 innings) -- just before the season started. He joined the Cubs in late April and has saved 19 of 21 with a 2-2 record and 2.80 ERA.
Wittenmyer named the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks as teams that could benefit most from Kevin Gregg. Boston and Detroit are at the bottom of the league in both ERA and saves and do not have that automatic closer although Boston's Koji Uehara has stepped it up of late. Detroit and Arizona have both looked for a closer all season.
The Cubs have made many trades already, and it looks more apparent that they will move Gregg as they continue to restock their Minor League system. They traded Garza Monday, and a Soriano deal is in the works. Will Kevin Gregg go next? We will find out soon.
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