The Closer

Who is the Cubs closer for next year? This guy. Kevin Gregg. What does that mean for the Cubs closer of 2008, Kerry Wood? Well, according to JH, it means "Thanks for Nothing. Enjoy your New Team." I am not sure if JH was concerned that I didn't really have a Cub to hate, but if that was his concern, he doesn't have anything to worry about now. Look, I am probably the over-sentimental type who thinks that when a player turns down other offers for more money to stay in Chicago he should probably be rewarded when he does everything he should the next year, but really, you decide to kick Kerry Wood to the curb by acquiring Kevin Gregg?

I already see it. 2009, NLDS. The Cubs vs. the Mets. Kerry Wood comes on to record 3 saves in three games to sweep the Cubs out of another playoff race. JH in burned in effigy. Kevin Gregg run out of town. All because Kerry Wood was seeking another big contract.

For those know aren't intimately familiar with KG (I will never use that again), Kevin Gregg has been the Marlins closer for the past 2 seasons. In '07, he recorded 32 saves with a 3.54 ERA. This year, 29 saves with a 3.41 ERA. The Marlins got rid of him because it is another salary dump by the team that is notorious for salary dumps, only this time, they didn't win a W.S., they are just getting rid of anyone who knows the word arbitration.

Look, Kevin Gregg's fine. Decent numbers, 30 years old, arbitration eligble. But the Cubs gave up the guy I would consider their #1 prospect in Jose Ceda to get him. Ceda is a future closer and had far and away the best year of any Cubs minor leaguer not named Micah Hoffpauir. So, in addition to bending Kerry Wood over, they depleted their farm system even more.

Kerry Wood, thanks for the memories. JH, thanks for nothing.

Comments (2)

Anonymous

November 17, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Gregg will not be the closer, Marmol will. Gregg is nothing more than a Howry replacement. Nothing more, nothing less.

Lionel

November 17, 2008 at 3:48 PM

I intended to include a quick note on Marmol/Gregg in my Cubs Nuggets section posted today. While I believe that it is possible that Marmol will be closing and Gregg setting him up, I am not convinced that is set in stone. While I certainly believe Marmol has the closer mentality and better stuff than Gregg, Gregg has more experience. Lou isn't Dusty, so that doesn't automatically mean he gets the nod, but Lou does favor experience to some degree.

The second issue is what they gave up to get Gregg. As I said in the original article, the Cubs gave up arguably their top prospect to get Gregg. That doesn't scream setup man to me.

The final issue that probably doesn't come into play, but is worthy of note, is the salary gap. If my service time estimation is correct, Marmol is not yet eligble for arbitration, meaning that he will make around 400K. Gregg is arbitration eligible, meaning he'll get a bump up from the 2.5 mil he made last year.

I would prefer to see Marmol in the closer's role, I am just not sold that Lou's mind is made up. I think that if Gregg struggles or gets injured, Marmol will take over and probably will hold the job...it just becomes a matter of whether he gets the job