It looks like the Kerry Wood Experiment is officially over in Chicago. The Chicago Cubs acquired Kevin Gregg from the Florida Marlins for the minor-leaguer, Jose Ceda. Gregg has been the closer in Florida the last two seasons and he will be the set-up man for Chicago next season with Carlos Marmol assuming the closer role. This is a cost-cutting move by the Cubs in hopes of landing a left-handed power bat this offseason and re-signing Ryan Dempster. Wood is looking for a three-year deal in hopes of receiving $10 million a season.
GM Jim Hendry didn’t close the door to Wood in the future but thinks he should go get what he deserves in the open market. The New York Mets and Texas Rangers appears to be a good fit for Wood and have the money to sign him.
Kevin Gregg isn’t as good as Kerry Wood, but for a team that is cutting a few corners while spending large amounts of money, they feel like this is needed to keep Dempster and get a power left-handed bat to replace Fukudome in right-field. Gregg will have an ERA around 4.00 and give up a few extra homers in Wrigley Field. If he stays healthy, which he couldn’t do last season, he could help Chicago this year.
Jose Ceda has been in the Cubs farm system for a few years. The Padres traded him to Chicago when he was 18 years old for Todd Walker. Many baseball experts believe that Ceda could be a future closer and could become a Lee Smith type of pitcher. It looks like the Cubs could get the best out of this trade this season, but Ceda could be a beast for Florida for many seasons to come, until he hits arbitration, then they’ll trade him for another future star.