Blue Jays Sign Kevin Gregg

The Blue Jays officially signed Kevin Gregg to a one-year $2.75MM deal that includes a pair of club options. The Blue Jays will have ten days after the 2010 World Series to choose between three options: 

  • Allow Gregg to become a free agent
  • Pick up a $4.5MM option for 2011 
  • Pick up an $8.75MM option for 2011-12 

Gregg spent much of 2009 closing for the Cubs, and he managed to trim his walk rate and increase his strikeouts.  However, he allowed a disastrous 13 home runs in 68.6 innings. Gregg, who was drawn to Toronto because of the chance to close games, will compete with Scott Downs and Jason Frasor for Toronto's closing job. The Blue Jays have a number of relievers competing for jobs, so some have speculated that the club could deal Downs or Frasor, both free agents after the season.

Agent Dan Horwits told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that the Rockies, Padres and Marlins were all interested in Gregg.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the sides were close to a deal. Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweeted details.


76 Responses to Blue Jays Sign Kevin Gregg Leave a Reply

  1. counciltucky 5 years ago

    Well that’s a new one…

  2. UGH… AA’s first bad move yet. Gregg is going to get destroyed by the AL East. I guess this leads to a Frasor trade.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      Cubs have shown a lot of interest in Frasor. I could see the two teams rekindling talks. So far the Jays have wanted Angel Guzman but the Cubs won’t part with him. Maybe now that they’ve acquired Gregg that’ll soften their stance on getting a late inning reliever in return and something could get done. For some reason, Hendry desperately wants a reliever but appears to be out of money. A trade is probably his only avenue.

      • rootman1010 5 years ago

        i agree with the potential for a trade with the cubs. it’s really hard to predict what the cubs would trade for him because frasor is a rather valuable player and would be even more valuable to the cubs. im guessing the cubs would part with someone like berg, stevens, atkins, or even samardzija. i dont think they want to trade guzman because he is very talented and the cubs need veterans in the bullpen right now (i know guzman isn’t a veteran but he’s a bit more seasoned than the others). the cubs have pretty good depth in middle relievers/future setup men with berg, caridad, gaub, etc. and may be able to spare one for an established guy like frasor.

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          I hope it wouldn’t take too much. Frasor’s been about an average middle reliever most of his career. I hope the Cubs don’t put too much stock in his saves and the numbers he put up in general last year. Frasor makes a decent amount of money (2.5M) so the Cubs may want to trade someone who makes more than the minimum to offset that salary. Sean Marshall is a guy who comes to mind. He makes about 1M so the deal would cost the Cubs about 1.5M net. I’m hoping that would open up a lefty reliever spot for Gaub and if he isn’t ready, you always have Gorzelanny to take Marshall’s spot the pen – especially after Ted Lilly comes back.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            “Frasor’s been about an average middle reliever most of his career. I hope the Cubs don’t put too much stock in his saves and the numbers he put up in general last year.”Uhm, you do remember who our GM is, right?That quote is exactly the what attracts Hendry in the first place.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m afraid of! But I will say that he has been holding firm so far about not trading Guzman. “So far” being the operative words. If it’s someone like Marshall, it won’t bother me so much. Last year notwithstanding, I don’t think Frasor is 1.5M better than Marshall, but maybe it means Gaub gets a closer look this spring. He could end up being better than both, especially when you factor in he’ll be doing it at a minimum salary.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            For all we know though, the trade could be Gaub for Frasor. I sure wouldnt put it past JimmyBoy, and there is precedence after the Ceda for Gregg move of last season. Considering a middle reliever capable of closing is a priority for this offseason for Hendry, well…

            Also, not completely sure why you are talking about Marshall being the return. A desired BP addition has always been “on top of” not “at the expense of” what we currently have, and Marhall specifically will be one of only 3 realistic options in the running to fill the two open spots to start the year (until Lilly returns). I am pretty sure he wont be moved at this time.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            True enough…I’ll buy that. I could definitely be wrong about Marshall. I was thinking that when Lilly returns, you’ve possibly got Grabow, Gorzelanny, Gaub and Marshall as major league quality lefties out of the pen depending on who the 5th starter is. There could end up being a surplus in that area. That and Marshall’s salary makes the Frasor acquisition less expensive for a team that seems to be out of money. But you’re point is well taken. On the flip side, Gorzelanny is a major candidate for a starting spot even after Lilly returns, leaving Grabow and Marshall as the lefties in the pen if Gaub isn’t ready. And the Cubs may need both to start while Lilly is on the DL…it would certainly be better than using Silva or Parisi in the rotation. Trading Marshall in that scenario would leave them a little thin.

            Geez…I hope we don’t see a Gregg/Ceda type deal again. I’ll be ticked if we trade Gaub for Frasor.

            By the way, did you read where Hendry said that the Nady signing “rounds out our acquisitions for the winter”? We may going to camp with what we’ve got.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            Yeah, without Marshall we are in trouble with the starter/long-man depth unless somehow Silva defies all logic and becomes a passable member of the team. And I would almost expect a great overpayment for Frasor because its a position Hendry has been trying to fill all offseason with no luck – that consistently results in his panicking and he has almost always overpaid for the addition under those circumstances.

            As far as being done? Well, I think he will still try to tinker with the minor additions or trades as he has told us he thinks the team still has needs through his targets. I think the statement more refers to his running out of cash, as he already overstepped estimates with the Nady addition. That is understood as he did make out better then expected on most arbitration cases, but its unlikely there is much of anything left.

            If a trade takes place that would normally add payroll, I would expect the other team to eat cash and/or take Fontenot or Hill in return. (two bench spots the club can replace on the cheap)

          • rootman1010 5 years ago

            ah! don’t remind me of the ceda/gregg trade! uhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Roll Fizzlebeef 5 years ago

    I’m neither disappointed or enthused about this deal. I’ll wait for the specifics of the deal turn out.

  4. dankane 5 years ago

    Does Greg close?

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      Not well.

      Well, unless you are rooting for the other team that is.

  5. dankane 5 years ago

    Will he close now?

  6. plantenutz 5 years ago

    I like this. Gregg as the closer and downs as setup, and trade frasor!!

    • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

      O.K. I’ll bite. What is it you like about Gregg as the Jays closer?

    • philpbarnes 5 years ago

      As a red sox fan, I really hope that happens.

  7. Fredschickenshack 5 years ago

    i tohught he was choosing between the rockies and the marlins ?

  8. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    HAHA this is going to be great for the al east, tex,a-rod,granderson,posada,ortiz,youk, etc. is going to DESTROY gregg ,he should signed with the padres and try to reseruct his career not to destroy by playing in the al east where just about all there ball parks are hitters havens and gregg should not be closing for any team

    • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

      I couldn’t agree more. There will a fight at the bat rack every time Gregg gets up in the pen.

  9. baseballz 5 years ago

    Kevin Gregg ? This is just a bad bad bad idea. Who in the bullpen is Gregg superior to ? Besides Zech Z of course.

  10. breakz 5 years ago

    Come on, the Jays aren’t competing this year. AA’s trying to improve the farm system, and this is an indirect step in that direction.

    Gregg’s either (a) a 1-year rental so they can move Frasor/Downs for prospects, or (b) a 4-month rental they trade for prospects. Either way the Jays get prospects, and that’s what they need right now.

  11. JerseyJohn32190 5 years ago

    Let the shellacking begin.

  12. bigpat 5 years ago

    Hmm, I guess the Jays are building an entire team of pitchers.

  13. bradfullmerfan 5 years ago

    You don’t need to sign a mediocre reliever when you have 7 better ones already.

  14. baseballz 5 years ago

    See he’s better than Shawn Camp, but they can’t serve the same purposes. This would just be a precurser to another trade

  15. davidchu 5 years ago

    trade downs and frasor for more quality prospects, suck terribly this year, get a top pick out of it and maybe in 2012 there can be a resemblence of a team in toronto.

  16. Shoeless_Joe 5 years ago

    Greg will fill Brandon Leauge’s spot in the bullpen as a 7th inning guy. Downs and Frasor are your 8th/9th guys, but after that there’s a few question marks late in the game. Having Gregg also gives the Jays more options on the trade front.

    • smokinjays 5 years ago

      exactly. the only reason he’s being talked about as a closer is because it’s clear from his agent that any team that gives him a shot as closer has an advantage in negotiations. he’s being given a chance to prove himself (against 2 better pitchers), that’s it. if he’s as bad as everyone says he is, he’ll end up the 7th inning guy.

      besides, i don’t think both frasor and downs will be on the roster come opening day. this gives AA more breathing room to shop those 2 for prospects.

  17. rpriske 5 years ago

    Wow, people on here really don’t understand that Gregg actually has some talent.

    Would I trade Frasor for Gregg? No. Would I sign Gregg if I was trading Frasor and getting something in return? Depends on the something.

    I see nothing wrong with giving Gregg a shot at the closer job… but he still has to prove himself. Let’s be honest… it isn’t like Frasor or Downs are frontline closers either.

  18. Gregg will be a free agent again next offseason, with a decent chance of remaining a Type A player, potentially slipping to Type B. The Jays pay a couple million and end up with an extra draft pick in 2011. That’s the only rationale I could come up with for the Jays making this move.

  19. Jays also have Accardo but Cito is too senile and medicated to remember who he is.

    • Shoeless_Joe 5 years ago

      Last season Accardo had a FIP of 5. His ERA was more lucky then dominance as his walk rate was horrendous. Its ironic that you point to Accardo as the better option even though he hasn’t been good since 2007. Greg’s only a year removed from a good season rather then two.

      link to fangraphs.com

    • grownice 5 years ago

      this move wont even matter, how many games are we going to be able to have a closer in to save games anyways realistically its just a depth move in my eyes.

  20. Dev0 5 years ago

    could also be a sign him and trade him at the deadline if he’s having a good year move.

  21. plantenutz 5 years ago

    I believe this move means that AA will trade Frasor or Downs for prospects . Along with tallet and maybe other RP’s. This would be a really good move for a rebuilding team to get as many prospects as they can while guys like downs and frasor have value now. Same as johnny damon, he can provide the jays a good leadoff hitter that can help the rest of the young lineup and get threw the rebuiding stage faster. Lots of good peices on the club, just a matter of pieceing it togheter! Good job AA!!

  22. bleedrockiepurple 5 years ago

    i dont really see this as being a smart move by Colorado, their bullpen is already so competative, there is no way he would even have a shot at closing…there is no reason to add another guy that has so many questions.

  23. bleedrockiepurple 5 years ago

    thank you, Rox for not signing this guy, you saved all us Rockies fans from a heart attack….i would have hated seeing him in the 7th or 8th inning at Coors Field.

  24. jaysfan 5 years ago

    love this signing…cheap and although he hasn’t been great – does have lots of experience as a closer…but yeah moving from the NL to the AL doesn’t make me super happy…but i think this is a great signing.

  25. jrpoli 5 years ago

    GOOD LUCK JAYS! Thanks for taking him off the market so that my team doesn’t sign that loser! “Souvenir City”! That’s this guy’s motto.

  26. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Elliott wonders if the Jays will now move Scott Downs for prospects.

    Downs when healthy is pretty steady, but he probably won’t be 100% until the doc just chops his big toe off.

    I’m pretty sure the reliever that gets traded is the one that brings in the greatest return. My money is on Frasor.

    • grownice 5 years ago

      nah downs has been rock steady the past few years. frasor has added as change up this past year and flourished, but tis still one good year as opposed to many from downs.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        For the Jays sake I hope yer right. I just see Downs’ health woes being a slight problem to other teams.

  27. gs01 5 years ago

    Way too much money for this guy, this is exactly the kind of things that J.P. would do not surprising as AA probably mentored him the whole time he worked under him.

  28. grant77 5 years ago

    Nice signing by the Jays. Kevin Gregg has a long track record of being a great reliever and his high HR rate last year (which is the only reason his ERA wasn’t very good) is just a blip on the radar considering he improved his K and BB rate. He’s massive and only 31 with a nice delivery so it wouldn’t surprise me if these options kick in.

    • rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

      HR pitcher + Yankees/Sox/Rays lineups = :(

      • grant77 5 years ago

        This is the first year he gave up alot of homers, every projection system has him with a mid 3’s ERA like usual.

        • disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

          Grant,
          Saying that “his high H.R. rate allowed is the only reason his ERA wasn’t very good” shouldn’t make you feel any better.
          Towering, 450 foot blasts into the 3rd deck should count against his ERA.

          • rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

            Ask any Marlins fan if they wanted this guy back. HRs might be a new thing for him, but in this division, its a problem. I just don’t see how Gregg is a better option then working further on Frasor or Downs.

        • Suzysman 5 years ago

          Youre wrong with your HR thought process.

          Sure, his HR/FB and HR/9 rates last year were unrealistically high at 15.3% and 1.70 respectively, but his 2007/08 marks were way too low just the same and he has never posted an ERA under 4.15 otherwise. He was generally about average to slightly above average HR rates when posting all those 4.15+ ERA years.

          Specifically, his xFIP rates (which are fielding independent pitching with normalized HR rates) show this over his career
          03 – 4.76
          04 – 3.73
          05 – 4.36
          06 – 4.18
          07 – 4.74
          08 – 4.59
          09 – 4.16
          Fairly ugly for a reliever, isnt it?

          But what does it really tell you? It says that when expecting a normal HR%, his ERA should be in the 4.15+ range like it always has been outside the 2 flukishly low HR rate seasons.

  29. rockiesfan_303 5 years ago

    AL East, meet Kevin Gregg. Kevin Gregg, meet over 6.50 ERA.

  30. Dev0 5 years ago

    If the jays are not keeping downs and frasor for next year I hope they trade them at some point before the trade deadline. Assuming you will get type A stuff for a setup guy is not very likely we’ve seen it the last 2 off seasons.

  31. I have 2 points, first the trade Gregg for Ceda is a wash. Ceda is making Terry Forester look a Chippendale, Ceda is listed at 275 and hasnt pitched in a year. The second point is Gregg is not a shut down elite closer, he will get around 25-30 saves in a season. I dont see the Cubs trading a bullpen arm for Frasor or Downs, the Cubs would probaly trade a OF/IF as they have a little depth there.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      “the trade Gregg for Ceda is a wash.”

      The Ceda/Gregg trade might be a wash regarding the production delivered (Ceda doing nothing, Gregg hurting as much as he helped) but the trade is anything but a wash when put in perspective.

      Ceda’s value at the time of the trade was much higher then a mediocre reliever about to make 4+ million in arbitration off a couple seasons where he haphazardly filled the closer role until mercifully losing that role to Lindstrom. Ceda was actually the determining piece in a Brian Roberts trade only months prior, a deal Hendry wouldnt do because of the young hurlers value.

      Oh, and also
      “I dont see the Cubs trading a bullpen arm for Frasor or Downs, the Cubs would probaly trade a OF/IF as they have a little depth there.”

      We have probably 20+ BP arms (many of which are/will be out of options in the next year or two) and absolutely nothing in the way of worthwhile high-level middle infielders or outfielders to cover injury for 2010. That is why the team is signing guys like Nady, Tracy and Millar.

      Now, we might trade away Fontenot to ease some salary and give the roster some flexibility (since Blanco/Baker/Fontenot are all out of options), but we would instantly be on the lookout for another middle-infield capable player to sign to a minor league deal.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        Can’t agree more here. Trading a top prospect (at least at the time) like Jose Ceda for a one year rental on an average reliever (who happened to be put into save situations) like Kevin Gregg was a lost opportunity. It doesn’t matter what Ceda does or if he never throws a pitch in the bigs, he had good value at the time and we just squandered it away It reminds of the old Ed Lynch deal where we traded Todd Noel for Felix Heredia. Sure Noel got injured and never did squat…but he was the Cubs #1 prospect at the time and he had some serious value around the league…but we traded him for a pitcher that provided more headaches than relief of any kind. It was an awful trade and looking back and saying that Noel never did anything doesn’t make it much better…the same goes for the Ceda deal.

      • studio179 5 years ago

        This is exactly what I have been saying about the Ceda for Gregg trade. Ceda’s value is nothing and some argue how great he is/will be. Some Marlin and non Cub fans I have had this discussion with are basing Ceda’s off of value a couple years ago and can’t get reality to present date. Maybe he does come back. The sad part of the deal is the trade that you and Crunchy are speaking of an offseason earlier. That’s when Ceda had his value and the Cubs blew it. People might say it’s easy to look back after his injury. Here is the most disturbing part of Ceda when he was a Cub. There are some in the Cub organization who saw his injury coming before it happened and tried to say something. Cub brass also knew about Ceda’s weight issues and while they tried to get him to correct it, his weight was a concern. My point is they knew trouble was ahead with this guy, but Hendry would not include him to make the infamous non Roberts trade.

  32. rmb08 5 years ago

    Sucks for the Jays.. Being a Cubs fan I know the damage Gregg can do… AL will rake him.

  33. marley4041 5 years ago

    How about trading Downs and Frasor for Starlin Castro? Cubs get their pitching, Jays finally get the SS they’ve been looking for…..both teams still finish under .500 next year. Do it AA!!! Nobody loses on that one!

    • cubnation 5 years ago

      I hope this is a joke??? No one Loses? Castro is one of the top up and comers in the minors. no way this happens. absolutely no way……. btw, keep your voice down. Do give Hendry any ideas 😀

  34. Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

    Kevin Gregg as closer?

    Predicton……………. in AL-East, Kevin Gregg gets pounded like Gilbert Gottfried in a prison shower.

    Kevin Gregg is really more of a “reopener” than a “closer”

    • Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

      Kevin Gregg + AL-East = “Kevin Gregg realizes and accepts his meltdown destiny.”

  35. cubnation 5 years ago

    I just want to add this note for all of the Gregg optimists out there. I was the same way going into last season. He was TERRIBLE. He got destroyed in NL central last year. What do you think will happen in the ALE? Bad news!

  36. vaphinatic 5 years ago

    Why is everyone getting so worked up about this signing? It is a one year deal with two additional team option years. Plus $2.75 million for a closer is peanuts. The Jays are not making the playoffs this year. If he sucks then he gone next year. If he is good then they can either trade him at the deadline for more prospects or keep him. Win/Win. This signing also allows the Jays to trade Frasor or Downs for more prospects.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      I dont think people are really worked up at all over this move; just talking baseball and having a laugh at the player.

      But wanted to help you out really fast with some minor corrections to one of your sentences:
      “Plus $2.75 million for a (forced) closer (that lost that job by the end of the last two seasons) is (money needlessly spent, but not a crippling amount).”

  37. whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

    Wow, kudos to the agent for that contract…

  38. Cuddy Fox 5 years ago

    what a weird contract, at least there is more then the Mets that have bad pitchers that is going to be on the major league roster.

  39. NateRego 5 years ago

    great we are screwed to the max…just make him a middle reliever or bench warmer at best
    i cant even trust him with a 10-1 lead -_-

  40. davidchu 5 years ago

    2.75 for a durable setup man
    he has good stuff, and maybe he puts it together.
    the jays bullpen is gonna get a lot of work this year, so having a rubber arm back there is good.

  41. breakz 5 years ago

    As the basis for a Frasor trade this is a great move.

    Worst case: the Jays trade one (or two) relievers before the deadline and net themselves some decent prospects. That’s a great deal for whatever they pay Gregg (around $2mil, it seems).

  42. RanceMulliniks 5 years ago

    “It’s almost like he doesn’t care sometimes”? Care to elaborate on another example?

    I agree the move is questionable, but only because the Jays seem to have some bullpen depth. Depending on how much the contract is for, I’m not so sure this makes sense. Frasor/Downs would have been fine, with some combination of Accardo/Carlson/Camp/Janssen/Roenicke/Zinicola/Hayhurst/Tallet/etc.

  43. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    fine, take out the “sometimes”.

  44. grownice 5 years ago

    blue jays will have chances to save games? please! not this year boys and girls, this move means nothing, purely a depth move for trading other pieces, bank on it. ima blue jay fan btw, im also a realist, next season will be fun to watch the young guys but lets not kid ourselves into thinking were gunna be saving tons of games here lol

  45. grownice 5 years ago

    point out unimportant things much?

  46. S8P7W 5 years ago

    Obviously. It’s my favorite pastime.

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