Following season-ending injuries to key bullpen pieces Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters, the Atlanta Braves are prioritizing adding bullpen help as the trade deadline approaches. In their search, the team is expected to pursue Chicago Cubs' closer Kevin Gregg, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com:
While Jordan Walden and Luis Avilan have proven to be reliable as closer Craig Kimbrel's primary setup men, the Braves would like to add an experienced pitcher who could lessen the strain placed on Walden and Avilan down the stretch.
The Braves are among the many teams expected to show interest in Cubs closer Kevin Gregg, who owns a 1.11 ERA in 25 appearances. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez utilized Gregg as his closer while they were together with the Marlins in 2007 and '08.
Gregg, who is receiving interest from multiple teams, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, will likely be one of many Cubs veterans traded before July 31st:
Cubs are getting multiple hits on reliever Kevin Gregg, who is the classic sell-high pitcher. Strong numbers so far: http://t.co/KAqMZdPLp6— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 25, 2013
After signing a minor league deal with the Cubs in April, Gregg has been excellent as the team's closer, pitching to a 1.42 ERA and earning 12 saves in 26 appearances. With many teams like the Braves, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Cincinnati Reds in search of bullpen arms, the righty will likely be in high demand in the next month.
In addition to Gregg, the Braves will likely be interested in Miami Marlins' relievers Ryan Webb, Steve Cishek, and Michael Dunn, who are all known to be on the trade market. The Houston Astros are also known to be selling, and will probably make relievers Wesley Wright and Travis Blackley available.