The Chicago Cubs are in serious need to improve their bullpen this season. The relief pitchers were arguably the weakest part of the team this past year and though when several players like Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol are already gone, there’s one free agent that shouldn’t be brought back: Kevin Gregg.
The reliever was signed early last season after being released by Los Angeles Dodgers and even though he thrilled as the team’s closer, the Cubs would be wise to move away from him now that he hit free agency. Gregg ended the year with 33 saves, good for seventh in the NL, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Gregg cooled off considerably in the final months of the campaign and after some rough outings, he finished the season with a 3.48 ERA. He also suffered problems with former manager Dale Sveum down the stretch due to communication issues that nearly got him released before the end of the season. Even when he had good numbers, Cubs president Theo Epstein said he’d like to take a look at Pedro Strop in the closer role.
Gregg started to make fewer appearances down the stretch, something that was a sign of things to come. Despite the fact that the Cubs need some help in the bullpen, they should make the wise move and not bring back Gregg for 2014. He can be easily replaced with some existing players like Justin Grimm, Alberto Cabrera or even Arodys Vizcaino if the former Atlanta Braves pitcher is healthy for next year.