Kevin Gregg, Matt Garza and Nate Schierholtz Trade Speculation

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July 15, 2013 by Ryan S

Well, the home run derby just ended.  The American League beat the National League, and Yoenis Cespedes won the title.  The funny thing is that Comcast had the derby as lasting only until 10 PM ET, and here we are at 11 PM ET and they are still covering it.  Classic.  On to the rumors and speculation.

Kevin Gregg

Gregg has allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits and six walks in 10 innings in his past 10 games.  In that span, he has blown two saves and his ERA has ballooned from 0.77 to 2.97.  He has a .282 batting average against in those 10 games.

So what’s changed?  I’m here to argue that nothing has.  Prior to the 2013 season, Gregg’s season-low ERA was 3.41, all the way back in 2008.  He has a 4.07 ERA career, and has allowed 8.3 H/9 over the course of his career.  He’s only allowed 7.0 H/9 in 2013, but that number is creeping back up to this career number– and the rest of his numbers are regressing as well.

So what does this mean for the Cubs?  Theo and Co. are not stupid people.  They know about Gregg’s past and his reputation in the league as a guy who has not ever been dominant in the back end of games.  And every game that he gives up hits and runs, his trade value decreases a little bit.  

My prediction is that Gregg will be dealt before the All-Star break is over.  In a panic mode situation, it’s important to get rid of him before he loses all value.

It is highly unlikely that he’ll be going in a package with Matt Garza, so they won’t have to rush negotiations for their stud trade piece to unload Gregg.  It has been reported that the Tigers are in on Gregg, and I’ve heard the name of third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos thrown around as well.

Castellanos was the no. 21 ranked prospect by Baseball America and MLB.com before the 2013 season, and I can assure you that the Cubs would not get that kind of return on Gregg, especially given his recent struggles.

I still expect that if dealt soon, Gregg could net a top-20 prospect from the Tigers organization.  Tigers no. 10 prospect, outfielder Steven Moya is one who comes to mind.  He’s 21 and batting .279 in High-A with the Tigers.  His scouting grades are pretty good, and he isn’t a top-100 prospect, so he won’t be as hard to acquire as a guy like Castellanos.

Team that he’ll go to: Tigers

Matt Garza

Despite going 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA and a 1.008 WHIP in his past six starts, the rumor mill on Garza has slowed recently, with many teams now deciding whether they are buying or selling.

Much of the chatter remains the same, though.  The Cardinals, Rangers, Blue Jays, Indians, Dodgers, Nationals and Red Sox have all been connected to Garza thus far.  In the same spirit as Theo and Co. usually do their business, they have kept negotiations to themselves.

It has been reported that Garza will likely be traded by Saturday and has been notified that he will be traded as the very, very short lived contract extension talks fell through.

My prediction is that Garza will be traded soon, but not before Saturday.  I think he’ll make one more start for the Cubs before being dealt.

He’s been so hot lately that one bad start will not hurt his trade value a whole lot, and the Cubs are not about to rush a trade of their most valuable trade piece.  This is especially true given that potential trade partners will be willing to part with more to get Garza as the deadline gets closer.

We will see how things play out, but this is my guess.  Expect the Cubs to add Dioner Navarro to any deal, since he’s been Garza’s personal catcher through his success.

Team that he’ll go to: Rangers

Nate Schierholtz

Schierholtz has become an interesting trade piece for the Cubs.  As someone who started the year off very well, his trade value became very obvious.

However, Schierholtz has batted just .191 in his past 18 games, and sat out Saturday and Sunday against the Cardinals with what manager Dale Sveum described as injuries to a lot of body parts.

What did this accomplish?  Well it may have been an attempt to convince buyers that his recent struggles have been due to injuries rather than just cooling off.  I suspect that he’ll be dealt soon as well.  But it is also very possible that the Cubs try to retain him for the 2014 season since decent outfielders come at a premium and he has played very well thus far.

Schierholtz has been linked to the Pirates and Rangers thus far.  The Pirates would love to add an outfielder who can hit right handed pitching and play good defense.  So, like, Schierholtz.

What could the Cubs get for him?  Well, he’s under control for 2014, which helps a lot.  Keith Law ranked the Pirates farm system as seventh in the league, so getting a top-20 or top-25 prospect from them.

Since Travis Snider has been a bust for the Buccos, they need someone to hit against righties and play right field.  Scheirholtz could step in and platoon with Jose Tabata, which they could certainly use in an attempt to have their first winning season since 1992.

I predict that he will be traded in the next couple weeks, but will not be a deadline deal.

Team that he’ll go to: Pirates

That’s it for now guys, and go Cubs!

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