While the Cubs are believed to have a pretty good shot at retaining Kerry Wood's services for 2009 and beyond when free agency opens in nine hours, they aren't taking any chances if they don't. The team traded a minor leaguer for Kevin Gregg, who closed for the Marlins last season.
Gregg probably wouldn't wind up as the closer in Chicago, he was replaced by Matt Lindstrom before last season ended, but he would help keep the bullpen as a strength. Carlos Marmol would likely slide into the closer role while Gregg, Jeff Samardzjia and others would make sure leads made it to him intact. If Wood returns, Gregg will likely slide down the set-up list and fill the role Bobby Howry vacated.
The Marlins were eager to rid themselves of Gregg and his arbitration case. Even though he faltered down the stretch, Gregg saved 29 games with a 3.41 ERA and would have seen those numbers rewarded with an inflated salary. Gregg's the fourth arb-eligible player dealt since the close of the season, fitting within the Marlins' primary goal of cost-containment this offseason.
The Cubs sent Class AA right-handed reliever Jose Ceda to Florida.