Kevin Gregg Rumors
On this day in 1988, the Padres traded Rich Gossage and Ray Hayward to the Cubs for Mike Brumley and Keith Moreland. Here's a look at today's links..
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees and Red Sox are no longer alone as financial superpowers. Sherman also looks at five offseason market trends that will impact the 2012 season and beyond.
- In analyzing the Orioles' collection of non-roster invitees and the 40-man roster decisions they'll face this Spring, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes that Baltimore would eat a portion of Kevin Gregg's $5.8MM salary to trade him. Kubatko also speculates that an out of options player like Pedro Strop could be moved during Spring Training.
- Free agent Scott Kazmir is set to throw for scouts in Houston on Wednesday, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
- Jorge De La Rosa will undoubtedly exercise his $11MM player option for 2013 as he rehabs from elbow surgery, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post. If he does that, the Rockies receive a $11MM club option for 2014.
- Red Sox officials seem to think they’ll know what they’ll be getting from the Cubs “before the official start of spring training,’’ but it's not clear if that refers to when pitchers and catchers report or when the full squad arrives, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- If Magglio Ordoñez doesn't find a big-league job this season, he will have his own professional baseball club waiting for him in his native Venezuela, writes Robert Downs of the Detroit Free Press. The slugger is set purchase shares in the Caribes de Anzoátegui when he retires.
- The Indians and Casey Kotchman never talked about anything but a one-year deal, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. The first baseman signed with the Tribe for $3MM earlier this month.
- Orioles right-hander Kevin Gregg told Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun that last year left a bad taste in his mouth. “I think we all have something to prove to ourselves and to the rest of the league," Gregg said. He posted a 4.37 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 6.0 BB/9 during his debut season in Baltimore.
- MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli has heard that the Orioles’ interest in re-acquiring Koji Uehara has been overstated. It doesn’t seem likely that the right-hander will be traded back to Baltimore at this point. He is drawing trade interest after posting a 2.35 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 65 innings for the Orioles and Rangers in 2011.
- The Orioles aren’t comfortable with the demands potential trade partners are making, Encina reports. The Orioles discussed deals with the Cardinals and the Rangers, who are both looking to unload salary. The 2011 World Series foes have both been linked to Roy Oswalt in recent weeks.
This weekend's series between the Rays and Red Sox has made things a little more interesting in the AL East. With another win today, Tampa Bay would pull to within 3 1/2 games of the second-place Red Sox. Both teams have only intra-division games left on the schedule, including four more against each other next weekend. Here's a round-up of the morning's AL East links, as Jon Lester and James Shields prepare to square off in St. Petersburg:
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald discusses the upcoming arbitration case for Jacoby Ellsbury, who is putting up MVP-caliber numbers while earning $2.4MM this season. As Lauber writes, it's not easy to find appropriate comparables for the Red Sox outfielder. Lauber cites Andruw Jones, Hunter Pence, and Carlos Beltran as some names that could come up during negotiations. Last month, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained that Ellsbury's salary should exceed $6MM.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post praises the Yankees' bench, pointing out that the club's depth is one reason for its AL East lead. GM Brian Cashman noted that the Yanks weren't desperate for reinforcements at the trade deadline this year: "We did our trade deadline deals in the winter. Our supplemental moves kept us from having to trade assets in July for answers."
- The Orioles can't go into next season with Kevin Gregg as their closer, argues MASN's Steve Melewski. The right-hander is under contract for 2012 ($5.8MM), but has been inconsistent at the back of Baltimore's bullpen this year, posting a 4.45 ERA and 6.3 BB/9. Another reason why the O's may want to keep Gregg away from the ninth inning next season? He has a $6MM option for 2013 that would vest if he finishes 50 games in 2012. As the team's closer this season, he has just 43 games finished, but he recorded more than 50 in each of his previous four seasons.
- For the latest updates on the Orioles closing situation, along with 29 others, be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter or visit CloserNews.com.
The Nationals took a 63-73 record into today's action, putting them on pace to finish with a better record than the Orioles (55-81) for the sixth time since the Nats moved to Washington after the 2004 season. Of course, since neither team has topped the .500 mark in that stretch, the Battle of the Beltways isn't exactly recognized as a top-tier baseball rivalry.
Here are the latest items about the Nats and the O's....
- Stephen Strasburg talks to The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore about his year-long rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. Strasburg is scheduled to make his 2011 debut on Tuesday against the Dodgers, and is penciled in for three more starts in September if things proceed as planned. Strasburg is on a 60-pitch limit for Tuesday and will be on an innings cap for the 2012 season.
- Livan Hernandez will be shut down after his start on Sunday so the Nationals can take look at some younger pitchers, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Hernandez agreed to the move and will be "a mentor/coach" for the club's young pitchers, perhaps with an eye towards a coaching job after his retires. Hernandez wants to return to Washington next season and has even offered to pitch middle relief, noting he will not go to the bullpen for any other team.
- If Hernandez doesn't re-sign, Adam Kilgore hears from a source that the Marlins are the top candidates to sign the veteran hurler.
- With Andy MacPhail rumored to be leaving at the end of the season, MASNsports.com's Amber Theoharis looks back at MacPhail's three best moves as the Orioles' president of baseball operations.
- This is probably no surprise given MacPhail's possible departure, but Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun expects "a significant front office overhaul" in Baltimore. In that same piece, Zrebiec also discusses how Kevin Gregg is a popular clubhouse figure and a valuable mentor to the Orioles' young pitchers, but the right-hander is having a difficult time closing games. Gregg is under contract for $5.8MM in 2012, with a $6MM club option for 2013.
- Also from Zrebiec, Brian Roberts has been told by doctors that his concussion problems shouldn't be career-ending. The second baseman hasn't played since May 16 after suffering his second concussion in as many seasons.
This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.
Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm
- Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
- Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list. He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
- Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
- Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th. $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest. The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however. At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
- Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
- Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window. But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013. He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.
- Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
- Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball. With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.
- Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
- Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties. He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
- Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
- Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
- Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties. The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
- John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
- D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April. He stayed there until mid-June.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart. The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious. SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
- Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency. Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
- Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
- David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
- Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
- David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
- Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
- Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected. It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
- Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
- Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
- Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year. El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
- Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
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.”
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.
The Orioles officially announced that they signed Kevin Gregg to a two-year deal. The contract will pay Gregg $10MM and includes an option, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (all Twitter links). The vesting option would bring the total value of the deal to the $16-20MM range, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Beverly Hills Sports Council represents the right-hander.
Gregg saved 37 games for the Blue Jays in 2010. The 32-year-old posted 8.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 along with a 3.51 ERA. Koji Uehara, another candidate to close for Buck Showalter, posted a miniscule 1.0 BB/9 to go along with 11.3 K/9 in 2010.
Jim Johnson, Mike Gonzalez and another former Blue Jay, Jeremy Accardo, will also likely contribute out of the Orioles' 'pen in 2011. Alfredo Simon is currently involved in an investigation into a fatal shooting in the Dominican Republic, so it's not clear whether he'll be able to pitch.
The Blue Jays will obtain a draft pick for losing Gregg, but the Orioles do not have to surrender one. Toronto amateur scouting director Andrew Tinnish now has seven of the top 72 picks in the 2011 draft.
The Orioles could still use a left-handed reliever and a starter who can eat innings at the back of the team's rotation.
Some news items from the AL East...
- Toronto's payroll could end up being in the $80-$85MM range, tweets FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi. The Blue Jays currently have just under $49MM committed for 2011 (according to Cot's Baseball Contracts) and have eight players eligible for arbitration. Jose Bautista will get the biggest raise of this group, but even with notables like Yunel Escobar and Brandon Morrow also arb-eligible, the Jays should have a bit of money left to spend beyond settling their arbitration cases.
- Perhaps the Jays' extra money could be spent on Brian Fuentes? We heard about Toronto's interest in Fuentes earlier this week, and now SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Jays are still "pressing for" the free agent reliever.
- Did Scott Boras wait too long for a Rafael Soriano market to develop? Fangraphs' R.J. Anderson thinks this might be the case, and that Soriano might have to settle another one-year contract with the hopes of finding a long-term deal next offseason.
- A bit of early reaction to Tampa Bay's agreement with Kyle Farnsworth: CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler thinks the signing is risky, but believes the Rays need to take chances on their bullpen if they want to contend. Meanwhile, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs thinks the Rays made a better deal for Farnsworth than Boston did with Bobby Jenks, given that Farnsworth and Jenks put up comparable numbers over the last two seasons.
- Bronson Arroyo tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he enjoyed pitching for the Red Sox and wouldn't mind returning: "Even though I can safely say that I’ve cemented myself in Cincinnati for a while, [Boston] definitely still feels like home and in the back of my mind I know that there is no better place to play than in Fenway Park." Arroyo said when his three-year extension with the Reds runs out after the 2013 season, he would be interested in pitching for the Rays (to play close to his family), returning to the Red Sox, or staying in Cincinnati.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli has details on the vesting option included in Kevin Gregg's contract with the Orioles. Gregg's 2013 option will become guaranteed if he finishes 50 games in 2012, or if he finishes 100 games total in 2011-12. As SI's Jon Heyman tweeted in the previous link, Gregg will earn between $6-$10MM in 2013 if his option vests.
- Matt Bush, the first overall pick of the 2004 draft, talks to MLB.com's Dawn Klemish about his battle with alcoholism and the progress he's made in the Tampa Bay organization.
Reliever Kevin Gregg has been mulling offers from a few clubs and will make a decision "this week, in the next couple of days", agent Danny Horwits told Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore offered the right-hander a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM in early December.
Since putting the two-year offer on the table, the O's have been in regular contact with Horwits. The agent won't disclose which teams are in the mix for his client but it appears that Baltimore is among the finalists.
“We’ve been going back and forth with the teams that are left in the mix for the last couple of weeks,” the agent said. “We’re received new counter offers, fine-tuned other offers. Now, we’re pretty much in the mode of Kevin is going to make a decision.”
Gregg turned in a 3.51 ERA last season with 8.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 63 appearances for the Blue Jays. The 32-year-old will likely mark the last major acquisition for the O's this winter. Derrek Lee will likely mark their final offensive upgrade and even though they're in need of a starter and a left-handed reliever, those vacancies will be filled with small deals.
The Brewers, Red Sox and Phillies are the three biggest winners of the offseason so far for Jon Heyman of SI.com. Heyman provides some rumors, but not before including the Nationals and Pirates on his list of offseason winners. Here are the details:
- The White Sox "flirted with the idea" of trading Gavin Floyd, but decided to keep their rotation together until Jake Peavy returns. The Rockies inquired on Floyd earlier in the offseason.
- Kevin Gregg is talking to clubs other than the Orioles. Two weeks ago, Gregg's agent told the Baltimore Sun that "a few teams" were still involved and those clubs still appear to be in the mix for the former Blue Jays closer.
- The Yankees checked in on Rafael Soriano, according to Heyman. Joel Sherman of the New York Post and ESPN.com's Buster Olney suggested earlier in the month that the Yankees' interest in Soriano was cautious at best.