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Chicago Cubs' Kevin Gregg: Some Possible Trade Destinations

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Kevin Gregg has turned into one of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's most-intelligent signings since they took the reigns of the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2012 season.

Sure, Gregg's 1.42 ERA and 12-for-12 in save opportunities would make him look good to just about any team, but the Cubs have really struck gold in that Gregg is older (35) and won't command much money -- he initially signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs. These realities mean that Gregg becomes an attractive option for any contender down the stretch, whether he is the closer or not. They don't have to pay him much, but his performance will make teams have to buy high (but not that high).

Below are a few possible landing spots for Gregg:

Atlanta Braves (45-34; 1st in NL East)

While the Braves have an established closer in Craig Kimbrel (1.53 ERA, 22 saves), losing Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters to Tommy John surgery put a dent in their bullpen -- though you would never know it given the team's 2.71 ERA since losing O'Flaherty. Despite the 'pen holding its own, the Braves are going to be looking for an experienced veteran or two for the stretch run. Gregg closed games in Florida during current Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez's tenure there, so the past relationship is a factor.

Detroit Tigers (42-34, 1st in AL Central)

After the Tigers designated Jose Valverde for assignment, the Tigers became a possible destination for just about every veteran reliever on the market. Joaquin Benoit seems the current choice to close games in Detroit, but Gregg's low price tag and success have to make him someone the team will seriously consider. And all of a sudden the Cleveland Indians are only 2 1/2 games behind the Tigers.

Boston Red Sox (47-33, 1st in AL East)

The Cubs are fortunate in that the AL East has five teams that are still capable of making a playoff run. You have to think these teams will attempt to outdo one another as they all jockey for position down the stretch. The Red Sox will be looking for bullpen help. With Andrew Bailey struggling of late -- six runs and seven hits in two-plus innings -- the Red Sox may even consider Gregg at closer, though Bailey has been plenty good outside of his recent struggles.

San Diego Padres (39-40, 3rd in NL West)

The Padres have already been linked to having interest in Cubs' starter Matt Garza so we know the lines of communication are open between the clubs. The NL West is a lot like the AL East in that all of the teams are still very much alive in the playoff chase. Huston Street has been modestly effective -- though he has surrendered runs in 11 of his 28 appearances -- but in a tight division race, more quality pitching arms is never a bad thing.

Cincinnati Reds (45-34, 3rd in NL Central)

The Reds do need the bullpen help -- Sean Marshall and Jonathon Broxton are both on the disabled list -- so that makes Gregg a possible solution. However, trades within the division are always more uncommon than trades outside of it. Regardless of who it's from, the Cubs will take the best offer available. I just doubt that "best offer" comes from a division rival.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo! Contributor and Yahoo! Sports . He is also a senior in college majoring in English and Creative Writing. You can follow him on Twitter @bdavis_sports.

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