May 26, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kevin Gregg (63) pitches during the tenth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs defeated the Reds 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
The expected midseason fire sale may be coming sooner than Cubs fans would like.
Gregg has posted a sterling comeback campaign in 2013 with the Cubs, going 2-0 with 1.11 earned run average this season. While these numbers are well below his career averages, Olney points out that advanced metrics indicate that Gregg has been among the best in Major League Baseball bullpens this season. Mid-to-low market level teams that cannot afford the well-known arms such as Jonathan Papelbon could turn to Chicago to fulfill their back-end needs during a playoff push.
One team rumored to be a potential suitor for Gregg’s services could be Detroit, as they designated their former closer Jose Valverde for assignment last week.
The team has also received calls on left-hander James Russell, but according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the team is not inclined to deal the southpaw. Russell has been one of the premier left-handers in all of the big leagues over the past few years, and could prove valuable for the team during this rebuilding process.
Following the departure of Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, Russell has emerged as a leader on and off the field for the team, posting a 1-1 mark with a 1.95 earned run average during the 2013 campaign.
After the team designated closer Carlos Marmol for assignment earlier today, any trades of either Gregg or Russell could seriously deplete an already underperforming bullpen down the stretch this year.