Cubs Make First Big Move of Offseason

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Kevin Gregg from the Florida Marlins for minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Ceda.

Gregg, 30, went 7-8 with 29 saves, four holds and a 3.41 ERA (26 ER/68.2 IP) in 72 relief appearances for the Marlins last season. He tied for the National League lead with seven relief wins, ranked eighth in the league in saves and 11th with a .203 batting average against, including a .181 batting average (21-for-116) by left-handed hitters and a .222 batting average (30-for-135) by right-handed hitters.

In 2008, Gregg posted a 2.92 ERA or less in five of his six calendar months, closing the season with nine scoreless outings in September. In a three-month period from May 6-August 12, Gregg went 3-2 with 21 saves, a 1.86 ERA (8 ER/38.2 IP) and a .165 batting average against (23-for-139).

Since pitching exclusively in relief the last two seasons, Gregg has stranded 32 of his 36 inherited runners, an 88.9 percent success rate. He stranded 15 of 16 inherited runners last season, a 93.8 percent success rate.

Gregg recorded a 3.48 ERA (59 ER/152.2 IP), a .205 batting average against (114-for-557) and 61 saves in 146 relief appearances for Florida from 2007-08. The 6-foot-6, 238-pounder struck out 145 batters in 152.2 innings pitched, an average of 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings, and allowed only 10 home runs, an average of one per 15 innings pitched in the last two campaigns. Gregg went 2-3 with 13 saves and a 2.56 ERA (9 ER/31.2 IP) in 28 appearances against the National League Central during the last two seasons.

The righthander joined the Marlins prior to the 2007 campaign in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, where he spent the first four seasons of his major league career (2003-06). In his first season in Florida, Gregg set a career high with 74 relief appearances and 32 saves, which tied for eighth in the National League, while stranding 17 of his 20 inherited runners.

Gregg is 18-21 with 62 saves and a 4.00 ERA (181 ER/407.2 IP) in 271 major league appearances, all but eight in relief. He appeared in the 2004 and 2005 postseasons with the Angels, combining to toss four scoreless relief innings in two appearances. A native of Corvallis, OR, Gregg was originally selected by Oakland in the 15th round of the 1996 Draft. He signed with the Angels as a minor league free agent prior to the 2003 campaign.

Ceda, 21, combined to go 4-3 with nine saves and a 3.83 ERA (36 ER/84.2 IP) in 37 appearances (12 starts) between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee in 2008. The Cubs acquired the righthander from San Diego for infielder Todd Walker and cash considerations on July 31, 2006.

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