The Cubs have recently traded for former Marlin Kevin Gregg. Because of the move, Kerry Wood will not be back. Jose Ceda will be the prospect heading over to the Fish. I like this deal for both teams. The Marlins clear some more salary while getting a solid bullpen prospect in Ceda. They’re probably already done and free agency hasn’t even started yet. No more salary would have to be moved and all their young players have opening now. Overall, a solid deal for the Marlins.
I think it was a smart trade for the Cubs, but as a fan I am very upset that Woody won’t be back; he was one of my favorite players. It was a good idea, though, mainly because they needed to clear salary. There was no way that the Cubs were going to be able to afford Ryan Dempster, Wood, and Bobby Abreu. Gregg can come in for a cheap 4 million and be a solid set-up man for Carlos Marmol. So they will have about 16 million to spend on Dempster and Abreu while filling the void that Kerry Wood left in the bullpen. I feel very bad for Kerry. He took so many discounts to stay with the team and would have this time, also. But he doesn’t get the same loyalty back. Poor Wood.
Now that he won’t be back with the Cubs, he’ll be going to a different team this offseason. With so many good options suddenly out there at closer like Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Trevor Hoffman, and now Wood there probably won’t be a huge market for Kerry. The Mets, Cardinals, Indians, Tigers, Brewers are all in need of a closer. I think that the Rangers could enter the picture for Wood, however. He is from Texas and I don’t think the Rangers are nor should they be sold on CJ Wilson. They seem like the best fit to me.
So the Cubs replace Wood with Gregg, the Marlins clear more salary, and Wood could go to any team, but I like him with the Rangers.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are the frontrunners to land Jake Peavy. I find this amazing, as the Cubs don’t have much left in their farm system. They traded most of it to the A’s in the Rich Harden trade. Apparently, that is fine with the Padres, however, as they are still willing to deal with the Cubs. Josh Vitters is the Cubs unquestioned top prospect, but the Pads have two top notch young third basemen on their team. They could trade for Vitters and then turn around and deal Kevin Kouzmanoff. I previously stated that Kevin Kouzmanoff for Brett Anderson would make sense. They could pull off that trade to help out their pitching while improving third base. Then, instead of moving Chase Headly to third base they could keep him in left field and slot Vitters in at third. You’d also think that one of the Cubs good young relievers would have to be included. If the Cubs manage to resign Kerry Wood, then Carlos Marmol could be in play. Marmol and Heath Bell would make a nice 8th-9th inning combination for at least the next 4 years. Or, the Padres could decide to opt for Jeff Samardzija instead. They might view him as a better option since he could start or relieve. The final pieces could be Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and Rich Hill. Marshall was solid in his limited opportunities last year, and he won’t be needed if Dempster is resigned. The latter two have seen huge drops in value but both still have imense potential. They make sense as two high-risk high-reward players to round out the deal. I think Hill would flourish without dealing with the pressure of Chicago. Same for Pie. So the final offer would be Josh Vitters, Carlos Marmol/Jeff Samardzija, Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and Rich Hill for Jake Peavy. I’m not sure I would do it if I was the Padres, but with the Braves not offering Tommy Hanson, it might be the only option. However, this deal would give the Cubs less flexibility when it comes to free agents. They’d still want Ryan Dempster back even if they do aquire Peavy, but they would really need Kerry Wood if they’re losing one of Carlos Marmol and Jeff Samardzija. On top of all that, they would have to settle for a cheap right fielder instead of a better one like Bobby Abreu. However, when you look at the kind of impact a Peavy trade has, it doesn’t matter much; you’re going to improve your team. Hopefully they will me able to win it all next year and finally make their fans proud.
I am going to predict who wins what in the playoffs today. I will start in the NL and then do the AL. This will be listed under “Predictions.”
Dodgers at Cubs
Cubs. The Dodgers are a pretty scary team in the postseason. They have been red hot going into the playoffs, and are a good all around team. Plus, they have a guy named Manny Ramirez. Takashi Saito leads a fantastic bullpen. They have a solid rotation as well. The Cubs are a better team, though. They have a better rotation and a better offense. (Assuming the Cubs don’t pitch to Manny) They have the best three man rotation of playoff teams. Plus, the Cubs are at home where they have been dominant all year. It is going to be really tough for the Dodgers to win this series.
Brewers at Phillies
Phillies. These two teams are very similar. They both have solid rotations and a great lineup. The advantage for the Phillies is a by far better bullpen. Yes, we know CC Sabathia can go 9 innings, and I think the Brew-Crew will take game 1. But after that, you have two pitchers who are returning fron injuries. If both Ben Sheets and Yovani Gallardo are completly healthy, then they’ll easily win the series. But, if those players get injured or have to come out of the game early, the Brewers will have to give the ball to that aweful bullpen. The Phillies have a light-out bullpen, however, so they won’t blow late leads like their oponent could. I like the Phils in this one.
Phillies at Cubs
Cubs. The Cubs have the best rotation of all playoff teams, and pitching is what wins in October. The Phillies have the better bullpen, but if the starters can go seven innings they can give the ball to Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood to end the game. Both teams have great lineups, and the only thing that separates these two teams is the starting pitching. Since the Cubs have the advantage there, they have the advantage in the series. I sure hope no curse happens this time around.
This is a post where you can click on any tag you want to. It will be a side-bar link.