Gregg Likes Orioles’ Direction

Kevin Gregg didn’t have much say in his future immediately after the 2010 season. The Blue Jays had the choice of cutting him loose, keeping him for one more year or keeping him for two more years. Their decision to let him hit free agency caught Gregg by surprise, but it ultimately led him to the security of a multiyear deal.

“You like to know where you’re going to be at,” Gregg told reporters on a conference call. “Two years isn’t a long time, but it’s nice for me and my family to know where we’re going to be at least for two years, maybe three.”

Kevin Gregg

The Orioles officially announced the $10MM deal that will keep Gregg in Baltimore through 2012 or, if an option vests, 2013. Manager Buck Showalter says he likes the right-hander’s "moxie" and closing background, though he stopped short of promising his newest reliever the team’s closing job.

Gregg, who has averaged slightly more than 30 saves per season since 2007, will have to compete for the chance to save games with Koji Uehara. But that wasn't a deterrent earlier in the offseason when he was choosing from a number of proposals.

“Fortunately for me, I had a lot of interest all over the board,” Gregg said.

After sorting through his offers, the Beverly Hills Sports Council client decided he wanted to join the Orioles. The team went 34-23 after Showalter took over last summer and has since added Derrek Lee, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds. Gregg says he likes Baltimore’s direction and wanted to stay in what he considers baseball’s toughest division because pitching in the AL East is a challenge. It will also provide him with plenty of chances to remind the Blue Jays what they could have had.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

55 Responses to Gregg Likes Orioles’ Direction Leave a Reply

  1. pastlives 5 years ago

    “It will also provide him with plenty of chances to remind the Blue Jays what they could have had.”

    hahaha Gregg can’t possibly be that clueless. Do the Jays really care how well he does? They got exactly what they wanted from him.

    • not_brooks 5 years ago

      Will the Jays care how well Gregg does in general? No.

      Will they care how well he does against them in the 19 chances he’ll have to pitch against them? Um, most likely.

      • pastlives 5 years ago

        in all likelihood he’ll pitch maybe 10 innings tops against the Jays. I don’t think they’ll be too mortified about letting him go.

      • pastlives 5 years ago

        in all likelihood he’ll pitch maybe 10 innings tops against the Jays. I don’t think they’ll be too mortified about letting him go.

    • yeah its not like the jays enjoy closers who try to pitch around every opposing batter

      it was a miracle he survived the al east last year

    • Rabbitov 5 years ago

      were you raised on neptune

    • churumba 5 years ago

      yah lol at Gregg and the AL east-good luck!

  2. Janssen 5 years ago

    Is that editorial? It certainly doesn’t look like a quote.

    I think the Jays knew exactly what they could have had, and were not interested in having it. It’s not like they lost a bidding war or something.

  3. I keep forgetting that on top of the offseason the Orioles have had, they still went 34-23 to finish 2010. Compare that starting infield to the 2011 starting infield. I really think this team has a shot at above .500, and honestly I think 2nd-5th place in the AL East is up for grabs.

    The Yankees are aging and haven’t done much to improve (outside of signing Soriano) so they are nowhere near a lock for second, in my opinion.

    • not_brooks 5 years ago

      The Jays, Rays and Orioles appear to be about even on paper.

      The Jays are the surest thing out of those three, the Rays have questions about offense and the bullpen and the O’s have questions about their starting pitching.

      Three through five in the AL East is a tossup for sure. And any one of those three teams could knock New York out of the two spot if age/injuries/lack of starting pitching catch up with the Yanks.

      Either way, it’s at least moderately exciting to be an O’s fan for the first time in quite a few years. One more thing I’d like to see them do is sign Vlad and then sell high on Luke Scott to get a proven starting pitcher. If they want to hang on to Scott, I’ll take a trade for Joe Blanton. He may be just a younger version of Kevin Millwood, but I’ll take Blanton’s high 4.00/low 5.00 ERA over another year of throwing Chris Tillman into the fire.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        Crazy to think Tillman’s not even 23 yet. But he’s proven about as much as he can in over 200 innings of AAA. Why would you want Blanton’s zero upside and low ceiling over Tillman at this point?

        If you’re sick of Tillman, you should’ve included him in the Hardy trade… :( haha

      • Rabbitov 5 years ago

        Even with the roster purge, the Rays are surer than the Jays. The Jays had a monster season from Bautista last season, do you think thats sustainable? And didn’t they just lose Gaston, or am I wrong about that?

        I’d say the Jays are the most likely to finish last in the Al East this year, with the Os in 4th and Rays in 3rd.

        • I agree about the Jays. They hit something like 257 home runs in 2010. I think the team with the second most HR’s had something like 211. Also, no team has come close to matching that HR total since 2005, which was at the tail end of the steroid era.

          While they do have some legit power bats, I don’t think they will come close to matching that inflated HR total from 2010. And you know all those HR’s certainly won some ballgames for them, so you’ll see it directly reflected in their record.

          • Sniderlover 5 years ago

            Homeruns will drop but that’s a sacrifice for more OBP. Lind and Hill had a terrible year and terrible OBP. I expect Bautista HR to drop but he will still have a good OBP and it’s expected Lind and Hill go back to the way they were hitting. Jays also lose Gonzalez half season HR which were around 17 and sub .300 OBP replaced with Escobar .350 OBP. Jays are expected to drop some HR total but they will make up for it with better OBP.

            BTW, Snider and Arencibia have serious power as well.

            While Jays rotation won’t necessairly improve because they lost Marcum but it could depending on if Morrow and Cecil can take it to the next level. Morrow showed after that 1st month what he is capable of and Cecil has show he can pitch below 4 ERA (he got tired towards the end of season and got lit up a bit). Romero continues to grow and improve. Drabek showed he can pitch at the big leagues last year, albeit only 3 starts so a very small sample but he has the tools and it’s possible he could pitch around 4-4.5 ERA. Rzep, Stewart, Litsch could compete for the 5th starter, better than what we used at times which were Eveland, Tallet.

            There is also no Cito, so there will be better management of that bullpen. Cito often misused that pen (look at Tallet) and the line-ups at times were completely atrocious at times.

            I don’t expect the Jays to finish last in the division but I wouldn’t be that surprised. All the teams are good in the division but I expect the Jays to finish around 80 wins. Orioles are good and young but their starting rotation is worrisome and with that rotation, I’m not sure how many wins you can get but they’ll be better than last season.

            I expect the Rays to regress, a lot. I’m guessing around 80 wins.

          • Bombastic_Dave 5 years ago

            It’ll be a telling year for the Jays. Lots of questions to be answered. I have the feeling it’ll be an emotional ride…

        • not_brooks 5 years ago

          The Rays have no bullpen and they lost a 30-homer bat and one of the best top of the lineup hitters in the game.

          I’ll take a repeat from the Jays offense over that kind of uncertainty. Sure, Bautista won’t hit 50+ homers again, but he’ll probably hit at least 35.

          What other Jays hitter played over his head last year? If anything, you can probably expect improvements from Lind and Hill.

          • Rabbitov 5 years ago

            The Rays also have a lot of help coming from their farm system in Desmond Jennings and a lot of good young arms. They in addition lost the core of the their bullpen but certainly don’t have “no bullpen.” Their farm system isn’t just loaded, its a dream.

            In addition to your comment that Lind and Hill come back. Isn’t it just as likely Upton comes back? Just as likely Longoria breaks out from the very good to the elite category? The hole at 1st is alarming, but their offseason also isn’t over yet. Also I don’t know what makes you think Bautista “probably” hits 35. I think it’d be nice for him to show repeat success, but I think he could go either way.

            Btw, I’m an Os fan, not a Rays fan. I just can respect an organization like the Rays that is run right.

          • upton has been on siesta for more than one year, and was not as good a hitter as hill and lind even in his best season

          • Rabbitov 5 years ago

            Upton in 2007 and arguably 2008 was a better hitter than Hill. My point wasn’t to compare them, it was to show that either team has players that can bounce back.

            I just don’t understand how even Toronto fans can honestly think they have a better team than the Rays right now.

          • i dont think we have a better team than the rays, but i think the gap has closed a little. you seem to think the jays will fall off a cliff this year, and i dont see it happening. there is too much continuity in their lineup to expect a complete collapse. the loss of buck, downs and marcum will hurt it is true, but the loss of crawford, garza and pena + all the important parts of the pen will hurt the rays far more. and just as jennings, hellickson, + others that i probably dont know could possibly fill in adequately for the rays, so could arencibia, drabek, and purcey (replacing downs) for the jays.

            as far as i’m concerned, both offenses will be highly unpredictable, and the rays have a slight edge cause their pitching staff should be better.

      • Here’s how the AL East looks with periods acting as a disparity indicator:

        Red Sox………Yankees..Rays……Orioles…………………Blue Jays

        How you can rank the Blue Jays anywhere near the Orioles or Rays is perplexing. Their rotation is thin, their lineup is questionable, and their bullpen is mediocre at best. The Rays and Orioles are far better on paper.

        • not_brooks 5 years ago

          The Rays are only two “dots” behind the Yanks after losing Garza, Crawford, Peña and their entire bullpen?

          Why doesn’t anyone realize how big of a hit the Rays are going to take this season?

          Their bullpen is gone and their offense is missing a top of the order speedster and a middle of the order, 30+ homer bat. Who’s going to step in to fill all of those holes?

        • Slopeboy 5 years ago

          Just the fact that you’ve gotten the division wrong tells me you just may be a bit clueless!!

          • Rabbitov 5 years ago

            he got the division wrong, but I think his ranking is pretty spot on. Of course you can’t predict the future, but the Yankees took some hits too this offseason, and some key components are really getting up there in years.

          • Slopeboy 5 years ago

            Yes, Aaron X may be right!! I just said that to bust his chops a little.The Red Sox look to be the ones to beat this year. Still,while the Orioles have improved significantly, I can’t really see them overtaking the Jays by a big margin. I can appreciate the optimism but they’re not running away from Toronto.The Rays have been really hurt by all their losses,it’s going to take at least 90+ wins to capture 2nd place and they don’t appear to have the type of team to do that.The Yankees didn’t really lose as much as some would have you believe. They Lost Pettitte,Thames, Wood and Vasquez if you want to consider Vasquez a loss.
            Soriano replaces Wood, Nova replaces Vasquez in the rotation, so that leaves Pettitte’s and Thames’ and a bench spot needing to be filled.
            While the Yankees did not get Lee as they hoped, I would not consider him a ‘Loss’ as he was not part of the team last year and didn’t contribute to their record.
            When all is said and done, it should be a tighter race in the AL EAST this season.

        • Slopeboy 5 years ago

          Just the fact that you’ve gotten the division wrong tells me you just may be a bit clueless!!

        • sadp 5 years ago

          haha, funny. This is about what people said last season. Didn’t turn out that way for the Orioles.

        • really not sure how you can possibly say that the jays are far worse than the O’s. the jays have a far better and more established rotation (at least they have 3 proven starters). the O’s rotation is at least a year further behind in development.

          in the bullpen the O’s have the edge, but if the jays add fuentes or rauch who they are rumored to be in on, that changes. plus it isnt like gregg is a shutdown reliever, and accardo is a far cry from the pitcher he was when he saved 30 games for the jays. he has lost several ticks on his fastball and doesnt have good location to boot.

          in the field, i see it this way:
          C – wieters > arencibia (simply by being more established)
          1B – lee = lind (complete crapshoot, both coming off of bad seasons following good ones, but lind has more upside)
          2B – roberts ? hill (another crapshoot, probably an equal chance for roberts staying healthy as hill bouncing back from a bad 2010)
          SS – hardy davis (obviously)
          CF – jones whoever the O’s put in left (Pie, Riemold, etc.)
          DH – scott > encarnacion (not by all that much tho, both are streaky power hitters)

          i fail to see how the O’s are obviously better on paper. they seem pretty comparable to me

          • Scott’s streaky? Power wise, yes. Contact wise, no. He was a beast from May onward. And he’s an OPS machine. If that’s streaky, I’ll take streaky. And Snider has proven NOTHING so far. I’d put him as equal to Reimold, and probably give Pie the slight edge due to his defense.

            And Roberts is better than Hill. I’ll take Roberts over Hill every day. Wells isn’t that much better than Jones. I’d put them as equals, the difference between the two is irrelevant. Everything else I agree with.

        • You could say pretty much the same thing about the Orioles. This coming from an Orioles fan. The Jays bullpen does have the potential to be historically epic fail though.

      • i would tend to agree, jays and rays are more established in the rotation (rays moreso), while the O’s are probably easier to predict offensively. lots of wildcards in the jays and rays offense, though they probably have more upside.

  4. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    When you were as bad as the Orioles in 2010, what’s not to like about the direction? You can only go up.

    • When you give the 2010 season the context it deserves, it gives the Orioles a lot of valid hopes for 2011.

      The context I’m talking about is the injury issues throughout the first half (Roberts being out, Gonzalez pitching through a shoulder injury before eventually hitting the DL, Uehara out, Bergesen struggling due to a nagging shoulder injury), combined with the excellent finish over the last 2 months of the season (which, not by chance, was also the time that the team got back to full strength).

      Roberts being out was really the worst. That lineup is so much different with him at the top.

      • not_brooks 5 years ago

        The biggest factors in the the O’s 2010 finish were Matusz, Bergesen and Arrieta.

        Check out the numbers those three put up under Showalter’s watch:

        Matusz: 2.18 ERA
        Bergesen: 3.04 ERA
        Arrieta: 3.78 ERA

        After Showalter took over, the O’s were 20-9 when one of those three took the hill. That includes a 10-1 team record in Matusz’s final 11 starts.

        • If they do ANYTHING close to that (i.e. within a full run) I’ll be extremely content. Bergesen’s a crapshoot. He can shut out the Yankees one day, and got rocked by the Indians the next.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        I never thought the Orioles couldn’t be a decent team in 2011, but you really can’t underperform any more than they did in 2010.

  5. Bombastic_Dave 5 years ago

    “Their decision to let him hit free agency caught Gregg by surprise…”

    Umm… Gregg? Did you not see AA buying draft picks? You performed well enough to get Type B status. Good job. The Jays are glad you go picked up. That was the plan. Good luck and don’t take it so personally.

  6. Janssen 5 years ago

    The direction they went is to offer him a decent contract. That’s it. No mystery here.

  7. LTDm206 5 years ago

    Did the O’s really go 34-23 under Showalter? Over a 162 game season, that’s on pace for a 96 win season!

    • We won’t repeat that over a whole year, but yeah Buck’s changed the culture. For once, the Orioles played like they expected to win, and they deserved to win. Haven’t seen an Orioles team like that since 97.

  8. Jason Klinger 5 years ago

    This team is going to hit a ton of home runs…and strike out at a crazy rate. Classic feast or famine offense. But I do like their young pitching. The AL East is going to be a lot of fun this year.

    • not_brooks 5 years ago

      Aside from Reynolds, who’s going to strike out as a “crazy rate”?

      Derrek Lee is the only other O’s hitter who has ever struck out more than 150 times. And he hasn’t done that since 2005.

      Please explain…

  9. Red_Line_9 5 years ago

    Sometimes the shift in an articles perspective throws me for a loop. It’s bad journalism to tag on an editorial.

  10. slider32 5 years ago

    The O’s and the Dodgers are the most improved teams this off season.

    • As an Orioles fan, I disagree. I think the Red Sox are the most improved (as if they needed much improvement to begin with). Signing Crawford and trading for Adrian Gonzalez…how many other teams added arguably two of the best players in MLB this offseason?

      • niched 5 years ago

        Getting Gonzalez is huge, and getting Crawford is very nice. But those additions could be nearly offset by losing Adrian Beltre (who had one of his best years last year) and Victor Martinez. Without Martinez, the Sox look vulnerable at catcher. I think the Red Sox will be one of the most improved teams next year, but their improvement may be more due to staying healthy as a team than from changes to the roster.

        • Agree Niched. If they stay healthy, that’s a HUGE improvement for them. Youk theoretically replaces Beltre. Beltre might top Youk in BA, but Youk probably will have a better OPS. Probably about equal as far as RBIs. Gonzalez will dominate in the AL East, he could easily win AL MVP. The fact that their two catchers are Salty and Varitek is a huge problem because Salty can barely throw the ball back to the pitcher, and Varitek is lord knows how old.

  11. If you’re going to show pictures, at least use a recent one.

  12. jhawk90 5 years ago

    They just gave him the biggest paycheck of his career – of course he likes their direction. He should have mentioned he liked their logo, ballpark, curtains and “The Wire” too.

  13. Victor Kipp 5 years ago

    And which direction is that? hahahaha What a joke. If you look closely, he had dollar signs in his eyes when he made that statement.

  14. sadp 5 years ago

    Yeah, it’ll provide him plenty of chances to remind the Blue Jays of the walked-in go-ahead runs in late-inning tied games and top-of-the-9th grand slams to the opposing team. The difference is these things will come in the Jays’ favour rather than against them.
    Thanks Gregg!

Leave a Reply