Cubs acquire Gregg… End of the Wood Era

“Seems to me that letting Kerry Wood leave without making an offer is like shooting Ole Yeller.  I must be getting too sentimental for this game”

-a text message from my friend DonS

Today the Chicago Cubs acquired Kevin Gregg in a trade with the Florida Marlins.  In return, the Fish received pitching prospect Jose Ceda.

In case there was any doubt to Kerry Wood’s future with the Cubs, Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry put them to rest.

“We felt it was time Kerry goes out and does what is best for him and his family and get a huge multiyear deal, if possible,” Hendry said. “This is really the right thing to do. We’ve had some really honest conversations in the last week. We don’t have to get into how much I think of him, but at the same time I don’t think we could do for him right now what he deserves and what I think he’ll get going elsewhere.”

No doubt, that was hard for Hendry to say.  He and Wood have been pretty tight even through Wood’s lean years.

Wood was the longest standing member of the Chicago Cubs.  A member since 1998, the playoff year and year he won the Rookie of the Year Award.  And yes, he did have those lean years but he was always a Cub in the truest sense of the word.

And now Gregg.

A 6’6″ righthander who will turn 31 next year, Kevin Gregg has turned two solid if not spectacular seasons with Florida in 2007-08. With ERAs of 3.54 and 3.41 respectively, he collected 61 saves in those two seasons.

I say this just once (and will probably deny it mid-2009 when we are in the middle of a playoff race).  I’m not particularly fond of the notion of Gregg as our closer.  Maybe Hendry has some grand scheme which includes Carlos Marmol in the closing role but I doubt it.  If Kevin Gregg is the man who we depend on when the game is on the line in the 9th inning, I have my doubts.  Let’s face it, the Cubs are still contenders in 2009.  And I don’t see Kevin Gregg as “contender” material.

Perhaps I too am too sentimental for this game.

One Response to “Cubs acquire Gregg… End of the Wood Era”

  1. FWIW, I will expand on my comments. While I am more “in my element” commenting on the Angels, I always liked Kerry Wood.

    Everybody is saying that the acquisition of ex-Anaheim Angel Kevin Gregg means that Kerry Wood will not get an offer from the Cubs. And that Gregg will be used to set up for new closer Carlos Marmol.

    First Question: Why can’t they sign Kerry Wood AND add Kevin Gregg? Are those two moves mutually exclusive? Gregg made $2.5 mil in 2008, not an excessive salary in the modern game.

    Jim Hendry was on WSCR yesterday saying that Wood gave several “home town discounts” over the years to stay with the Cubs. Hendry said that the Cubs would not be making an offer to Wood because it’s time for Wood to be paid what he is worth, that Wood should make a long-term deal with another club for the maximum that he can command. Words to that effect.

    Second Question: Does this mean the Cubs are refusing to make an offer to Wood “for his own good?” Am I interpreting the Cub position properly? And does what Hendry said make any sense?

    Leading to my REAL Question: What do the fans think of the Cubs over how the Organ-I-Zation is treating Kerry Wood? Does the team have any responsibility to show loyalty to a player? Or is loyalty strictly a one-way street (or a thing of the past) these days?

    BTW: I’m starting to really dislike the way sports are evolving “these days.”

    Two other opinions: 1) Kerry Wood is a FAR better pitcher than Kevin Gregg. And 2) Jim Hendry could not compete without the monetary advantage: He is successful only because he is given the resources to outspend the rest of the N.L. Central Division.


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