CHICAGO HOT STOVE GETS LIT
A very busy Thursday in Chicago baseball. I’ll start with the Cubs.
I understand what Hendry is trying to accomplish in acquiring Kevin Gregg. But I think he overpaid. Jose Ceda is just 21 years old and is a 6’4″, 210 lb. power pitcher. I think most fans, even without ever seeing a prospect play, shudder at trading a young arm that has averaged 11.34 Ks per 9 innings over his minor league career.
Last year Ceda started in A ball, moved up to AA and blew away hitters. The question: if Jeff Samardzija could make the leap, why not Ceda? Could it be that Ceda would actually be better than Gregg next year? He certainly would be cheaper.
I don’t see how Gregg closes, unless Marmol somehow goes off the deep edge next year. And at that point it won’t matter. His career numbers are underwhelming and he was not all that effective last year, blowing 9 saves for the Marlins. While he may be a veteran, he is not playoff tested with only 4 postseason innings pitched. And now he comes to play in Chicago, where the scrutiny is ten-fold that of Florida or Anaheim.
All that said, Gregg likely becomes a younger version of Bob Howry. He’ll get the ball in the 7th and/or 8th and probably give the Cubs 70-80 innings. Maybe Hendry thinks he’ll have his career year. By my estimation Gregg will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and that certainly provides him extra incentive.
I have to wonder if adding Ceda to a possible Peavy deal could have helped there. Yeah, I really want Jake Peavy!