Kevin Gregg Rumors

NL Central Notes: Cubs, Garza, Cardinals, Weeks

Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the infamous Lee Elia tirade against the Wrigley Field faithful where he unleased 37 "bleeps" in 187 seconds. Elia would remain as manager of the Cubs for just four more months. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle chronicles how times have changed for Major League managers. Four reporters were present for Elia's rant and only one had a microphone which captured the event for all posterity. Shea reminds us today there are interview rooms, social media, and live post-game press conferences shown on regional and national sports networks. As a result, Shea says managers have to be more articulate, polite, and thoughtful. Giants manager Bruce Bochy echoes that sentiment, "It's different when you just see pen and paper. When there's a camera there, you have to remind yourself." Elsewhere from the NL Central Division:

  • Cubs manager Dale Sveum refuses to name a closer telling reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan, "I'm not going to really mess with anything right now in our bullpen. It's about as good as it can be right now." The Cubs are 7-for-13 in save opportunites with three different relievers notching a save including Kevin Gregg, who leads the team with three despite being recalled only two weeks ago.
  • Matt Garza, number seven on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Rankings, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session today and is on track to make three or four minor league rehab starts, reports David Furones of MLB.com.
  • Speaking of Garza, Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald revisited the trade which brought the right-hander to Chicago and notes just one of the eight players invovled in the deal is currently playing in the Majors. Miles sees the trade as a wash, a viewpoint shared by MLBTR's Steve Adams who examined the Garza trade in a Transaction Retrospection last month.
  • The Cardinals' imploding bullpen saw its ERA rise to 5.93 after surrendering six runs to the Pirates today. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch tweets the status quo cannot continue, but the team does not have many in-house options. Langosch also tweeted injured closer Jason Motte played catch for the second consecutive day indicating his arm responded well to yesterday's session.
  • For the second straight season, Rickie Weeks is off to a slow start offensively with only seven hits in his last 69 at-bats. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com speculates Weeks will have a long leash because no one in the front office wants to start the service clock of Scooter Gennett, the Brewers' sixth-best prospect according to MLB.com, just yet. 

Cubs Sign Kevin Gregg

The Cubs announced that they have signed reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league deal.  Gregg will report to the club's spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona before being assigned somewhere within the organization.

Gregg, 34, was released by the Dodgers earlier this month as the club already had their surplus starters taking up spots in the bullpen.  The right-hander appeared in 40 games for the O's before being released last September, with a 4.74 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and a 47.8 % ground ball rate in 43 2/3 innings.


Dodgers Release Kevin Gregg

The Dodgers have released reliever Kevin Gregg, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com (on Twitter).  The right-hander hooked on with the Dodgers on a minor league deal back in February.

There was no room for Gregg on the big league team as the Dodgers' starter surplus leaves no vacancies in the bullpen.  The 34-year-old appeared in 40 games before being released last September, with a 4.74 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9, and a 47.8 % ground ball rate in 43 2/3 innings.



Quick Hits: Verlander, Wheeler, Gregg

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is excited about Justin Verlander's extension and the possibility it could keep Verlander in Detroit his entire career, MLB.com's Adam Berry reports. "I think it was obviously a great situation for him. I think it's a great situation for the organization. I think it's a great situation for the fans," says Leyland. "He's been with the Tigers for going on his eighth year, [and he could stay] conceivably 15 years or maybe 16. That's pretty much a whole career. I think that's got a nice ring to it."

  • The Mets should consider promoting top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, and should soon begin thinking about signing him to a long-term deal, David Lennon of Newsday.com argues. Promoting Wheeler to start the season, rather than delaying his service-time clock by starting him off in the minors, might show that the Mets are taking the 2013 season seriously, Lennon suggests. Once Wheeler is in the majors, Lennon argues that the landscape of the game (with teams signing their young stars left and right) suggests that the Mets will consider signing Wheeler long-term.
  • Kevin Gregg of the Dodgers is still bothered that he didn't receive a major-league contract this offseason, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon reports. Gregg posted a 4.95 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 for the Orioles in 2012. "The way last year ended, the way the offseason unfolded, you're not a competitor if you don't have a little fire to show your abilities," says Gregg. Gregg has gotten good results this spring, but the Dodgers have a very crowded pitching staff, and might not have space for him.

Dodgers Sign Kevin Gregg

The Dodgers have announced the signing of reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training (Twitter link). This is the second right-handed reliever the Dodgers have signed to a minor league deal in the last three days, as they came to terms with Mark Lowe on Friday.

Gregg signed a two-year, $10MM contract with Baltimore after the 2010 season, but he struggled with the Orioles, posting a 4.53 ERA from 2011-12. He appeared in 40 games before being released last September, with a 4.74 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 47.8 % ground ball rate in 43 2/3 innings. The Beverly Hills Sports Counsel Client was not linked to any team this offseason.


2013 Vesting Options Update

With two weeks left in the season, here's an update on the various vesting options for 2013 from around the league…

  • Brett Myers, White Sox — $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 39 total games this season and the ChiSox have 12 games remaining. This one is unlikely to vest but is still possible.
  • Kevin Gregg – $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg finished only 13 games before the Orioles released him last weekend.
  • Jason Bartlett – $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times with the Padres before hurting his knee and getting released last month. Like Gregg's, this one won't vest.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. He recently said that he won't change his mind about retirement despite his strong play as well. Chipper has played in 103 of the Braves' 151 games, so this one isn't even mathematically possible anymore.

Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he missed the majority of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.


Orioles Release Kevin Gregg

The Orioles announced that they released right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg (Twitter link). They had designated Gregg for assignment earlier in the week to create space on the 40-man roster.

Gregg signed a two-year, $10MM contract with Baltimore after the 2010 season, but he struggled with the Orioles, posting a 4.53 ERA from 2011-12. He appeared in 40 games this year, posting a 4.74 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 47.8 % ground ball rate in 43 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old's contract included a $6MM team option for 2013 that evidently won't be exercised.


Quick Hits: LaRoche, Gregg, Astros

A few stray links to pass along as the Phillies reach the .500 mark for the first time since June 4 with a win over the Marlins …

  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche "would love to stay" in Washington, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Last week, we heard that the Nats are likewise interested in retaining LaRoche. However, the left-handed hitter is enjoying a career year and is likely to seek a multiyear contract since his 2013 mutual option calls for a salary of $10MM. Kilgore adds that the Nats will wait until the season is over to commence extension talks with their players, as the organization is focused on its impending postseason berth.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter said reliever Kevin Gregg's DFA earlier today was the best situation for both the club and the pitcher, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. The Orioles needed the roster space, while Gregg may have the opportunity to start anew with a different team and pitch more regularly — as he had several long stretches without seeing game action this season — and perhaps set himself up to latch on with a team in 2013, Showalter explained.
  • Gregg was nonetheless "really disappointed" to be leaving the O's, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun
  • Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco is a candidate to assume the role on a full-time basis when Houston conducts its interviews during the offseason, writes Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. DeFrancesco has spent most of his professional coaching career in the Athletics' organization, which he said prepared him well for a managerial job with a team like the Astros that relies heavily on advanced analytics.

Orioles Designate Gregg, Adams For Assignment

The Orioles announced that they have designated right-hander Kevin Gregg and infielder Ryan Adams for assignment. The moves create 40-man roster space for Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes, whose contracts were selected from Triple-A Norfolk.

Gregg signed a two-year, $10MM contract with Baltimore after the 2010 season, but he struggled with the Orioles, posting a 4.53 ERA from 2011-12. He appeared in 40 games this year, posting a 4.74 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 47.8 % ground ball rate in 43 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old's contract includes a $6MM team option for 2013 that evidently won't be exercised.

Adams spent the entire 2012 season in the minor leagues. The 25-year-old posted a .225/.317/.348 batting line in 279 plate appearances across three levels this year, playing second and third base. Adams, the Orioles' second round selection in 2006, appeared in 29 games at the MLB level last year.


2013 Vesting Options Update

With a little less than one-third of the season left to go, let's check in on the various vesting option situations from around the league…

  • Jason Bartlett, Padres — $5.5MM option vests with 432 plate appearances. Bartlett came to the plate just 98 times before being placed on the disabled list with a knee injury. He won't return to the lineup anytime soon, so this option will not vest.
  • Kevin Gregg, Orioles — $6MM option vests with 50 games finished. Gregg has finished just 12 of the team's 113 games, so this one is very unlikely even though it's still mathematically possible.
  • Brett Myers, White Sox — $10MM option vests with 45 games finished or based on a points system. Myers has finished 33 games this season, and he has finished four of the ten games he's appeared in with Chicago despite not being the closer. This is one worth monitoring.

Chipper Jones has an option worth $9MM+ that will vest with 123 games played, but he's already rendered the option moot by announcing his plans to retire after the season. He recently said that he won't change his mind about retirement despite his strong play as well. Chipper has played in 71 of the Braves' first 112 games.

Alex Gonzalez has an option worth $4MM that will vest with 525 plate appearances, but he is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Gonzalez came to the plate just 89 times before the injury, so the Brewers do not have to worry about this one kicking in.