Kevin Gregg Rumors
A year ago today, the Giants signed Mark DeRosa to a two-year, $12MM deal. Due to a wrist injury, DeRosa wasn't a factor in the team's World Championship. Today's links:
- The Chiba Lotte Marines announced the signing of Bob McCrory, writes NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. McCrory, 29 in May, had labrum surgery in October of 2009, became a minor league free agent, failed a physical for the Red Sox, and ended up making 19 appearances for Baltimore's Double-A affiliate this year.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun is surprised by the lack of a resolution in the Orioles' month-long pursuit of reliever Kevin Gregg. Zrebiec notes that the O's have "some interest" in Jon Rauch, and there are plenty of other available free agents as well.
- Free agent designated hitters lack leverage in contract negotiations, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. We explored this situation yesterday in trying to find possible fits for Manny Ramirez.
- Red Sox lefty Rich Hill explains the origin of his signature curveball, talking to WEEI's Alex Speier.
- A reminder: in addition to our list of remaining available free agents, MLBTR has a free agent tracker that allows you to filter signed players by team, position, years, and amount.
Exactly five years ago today, the Blue Jays sent Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista to the Diamondbacks for Troy Glaus. Hudson signed a two-year deal this month, but Glaus and Batista are still available on the free agent market. Here are today's links...
- The Baseball Federation of Cuba is discussing the possibility of allowing baseball players to leave the country and play abroad as long as a portion of their salary returns to the Cuban government, according Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Defections to MLB would likely continue, since Cuba would send its players to Japan, South Korea, Mexico and Europe, not the U.S.
- The Orioles are still talking to Kevin Gregg, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team discussed a two-year deal with Gregg a couple of weeks ago.
- Jim Margalus of South Side Sox explains that the White Sox have had trouble developing relievers who can graduate from the minors midseason and support the big league 'pen.
- Jeff Francis told Marc Weber of the Vancouver Province that "teams are interested [in his services], but that's about it at this point."
The Rays find themselves in a difficult position as the 2011 season approaches. Forced to cut payroll, they've lost Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, (presumably) Rafael Soriano, and most of their bullpen to free agency, and traded Jason Bartlett as he approaches his final arbitration year.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times looks at some of the issues left to be addressed as the Rays begin bargain shopping this offseason:
- The Rays have added some bullpen pieces in Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, J.P. Howell, and Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabrel, but they'll still need someone to pitch the ninth and probably the eighth, Topkin opines. He lists some potential candidates as Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, Kevin Gregg, Trevor Hoffman, Grant Balfour, and Chad Qualls as options. Remember, the Rays also have Jake McGee.
- There's not much in terms of affordable names for the Rays on the market. Some clarity will be brought to the issue once Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee sign. Topkin mentions Casey Kotchman as a speculative option. Dan Johnson is a fallback if the team can't find an upgrade.
- Johnson is also a backup plan at designated hitter, but the Rays have options at designated hitter, with Johnny Damon, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Giambi on the market.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe asked ten baseball people to select the ten most significant moves/non-moves of the offseason. Unsurprisingly, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Lee topped the list. Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors...
- Talks between the Braves and Dan Uggla have slowed because he's seeking more money, but an extension should get done during the first week of January. Cafardo reported that the two sides were close to a five-year deal worth $60-61MM about two weeks ago.
- The Orioles still have interest in Kevin Gregg and the Red Sox still have interest in Brian Fuentes, but other free agent relievers like Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Octavio Dotel, Aaron Heilman, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jon Rauch remain in limbo.
- Carl Pavano is holding out for three years, with the Nationals, Twins, and Rangers still showing interest. Cafardo adds the Mariners to the mix, with the caveat that they free up some money first.
- The teams considering Pavano could also turn to Joe Blanton, who would certainly come cheaper.
- The Red Sox "haven’t heard anything close to the value they would need in return" for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
- The Angels and several other teams made a run at Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, but the Sox "never heard any offer resembling proper value."
- Cafardo wonders if Adrian Beltre is looking at a much smaller payday than originally anticipated. Last we heard, the Angels pulled their five-year, $70MM offer to the third baseman, but they remain in the mix to sign him.
- David Aardsma is still trade bait and the Mariners wouldn't mind moving him for starting pitching depth. Earlier this week we heard Seattle wanted an impact bat for its closer.
Links for Friday, as we await the holidays and debate the merits of multiyear deals for relievers...
- The Angels have been slow to address their weaknesses this winter, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Earlier today Halos owner Arte Moreno denied that the club made a formal offer to outfielder Carl Crawford who was long considered to be the team's top free agent target.
- Zack Greinke has changed agents, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). Jeff Berry and Casey Close of CAA now represent the right-hander, who had been with SFX.
- John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press explains why the Tigers may not need more left-handed relievers than Daniel Schlereth and Brad Thomas. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Tigers add a low-cost free agent lefty like Mark Hendrickson or Will Ohman if one is available in the new year.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports calls Kerry Wood's decision to return to the Cubs the most touching story of the offseason.
- The Yankees have spoken to the Astros about acquiring Jeff Keppinger for their bench, Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report. The infielder is available, but a trade does not appear close.
- The agent for Kevin Gregg told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that the Orioles are one of "a few teams" still in the mix for the reliever. Gregg would like to work out a deal by the holidays and could choose a team soon.
Eight years ago today, the Twins released David Ortiz. He has since hit 291 regular season homers and 12 more in the playoffs, all for the Red Sox. Here are today's links...
- The D'Backs chose Xavier Nady over Austin Kearns, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). Arizona agreed to a one-year, $1.75MM deal with Nady last night.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com that he would welcome Vladimir Guerrero back under the right circumstances, but isn't sure when he'll have the team's DH situation resolved.
- The Rangers signed Japanese outfielder Hirotoshi Onaka, according to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter). He was not selected in the NPB draft.
- The Yankees called the Mariners about Felix Hernandez and heard that he is absolutely not available, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- Russell Martin needs knee surgery, but the Yankees don't consider the injury serious, so they signed him anyway, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).
- The Orioles continue to negotiate with Kevin Gregg, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
The Mariners are trying to trade David Aardsma, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. As Rosenthal points out, the reliever will earn a raise from his 2010 salary of $2.75MM when he and the Mariners determine his upcoming salary through the arbitration process.
The Red Sox have missed out on a number of free agent relievers, so it would not be surprising to see them try to reacquire Aardsma, who turns 29 later this month. Kevin Gregg, who has drawn interest from a number of clubs, such as the Orioles and Red Sox, is among the possible replacements for Aardsma, Rosenthal reports.
Like Gregg, Aardsma generally posts high strikeout, walk and save totals. In 49 2/3 innings last year, he posted a 3.44 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9. Aardsma has likely seen his trade value jump because of the rising cost of free agent relievers, as MLBTR's Mike Axisa explains here.
2:48pm: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the Orioles have not made a two-year, $12MM offer to Gregg and they don't feel a deal is imminent. They've still got a two-year offer in the $8-10MM range on the table.
2:44pm: The Orioles are close to a two-year, $12MM deal with reliever Kevin Gregg, reports ESPN's Joe McDonald. He notes that the Red Sox and Nationals are still involved in talks with Gregg, but the Orioles are the frontrunner.
The potential Baltimore deal is the same as the one they struck with Mike Gonzalez a year ago, and I think they'll have similar regrets in overpaying for saves again. Gregg, 32, posted a 3.51 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, and 42.3% groundball rate in 59 innings this year. He saved 37 games in 43 tries, an improvement on his 76-77% success rate of the previous two years.
La Velle E. Neal III from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is having a busy offseason. Here's his latest on the Twins:
- Neal doesn't think the Twins have to match the best offer to sign Carl Pavano, who's told his teammates and club officials that he really wants to stay in the Twin Cities.
- The Twins' trade of J.J. Hardy isn't enough to shore up the bullpen, writes Neal. They've been in contact with several relievers, including Chad Qualls, Jeremy Accardo, Kevin Gregg, and perhaps Sean White. Neal linked the Twins to Gregg last week as well, but noted that he's probably too pricey. Their in-house candidates include Anthony Slama, Kyle Waldrop, Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, and Alex Burnett.
- There are rumblings that Tsuyoshi Nishioka is set to fly to Minneapolis to take a physical this week, an obvious sign that the two sides are getting closer to a deal.
The two-year deal that the Orioles offered Kevin Gregg is worth between $8-10MM, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Gregg continues to negotiate with the Orioles, who still believe they have a chance at the former Blue Jays closer.
Even though the Orioles agreed to terms with Koji Uehara, they could offer Gregg the closer's job. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail did not commit to Uehara as the team's closer this week.
The Orioles aren't the only team interested in Gregg. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported this week that the Red Sox, Pirates and Nationals have offered the 32-year-old deals and that the Mariners are in the mix for him. The Rockies also appear to be interested in the Type B free agent.
The Blue Jays will obtain a draft pick for losing Gregg, since he and his representatives at Beverly Hills Sports Council turned down Toronto's offer of arbitration. However, teams don't have to forfeit a pick to sign Gregg.