Relievers Luke Gregerson and Tony Sipp sat out for large portions of the 2019 season, but that doesn’t mean either veteran is ready to call it quits. Gregerson and Sipp hope to land contracts heading into 2020, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
The 35-year-old Gregerson has been especially good since he debuted in the majors in 2009, as his lifetime 3.15 ERA helps illustrate. But injuries have played a key part in stalling the right-hander’s career during the past couple seasons. Gregerson signed a two-year, $11MM contract with the Cardinals entering 2018 and then combined for 18 1/3 innings of 7.36 ERA ball over parts of two seasons limited by hamstring and shoulder issues. The Cardinals released Gregerson back in May, and he hasn’t caught on elsewhere since.
Sipp, 36, had a better 2019 than Gregerson, but that may be not be saying a lot. The Nationals decided in August to cut Sipp, whom they signed to a $1.25MM guarantee going into the season. In the club’s estimation, Sipp wasn’t part of the solution in what was then a maligned bullpen. Of course, the Nats and their relief corps went on to win the World Series two-plus months later without Sipp, who turned in 21 innings of 4.71 ERA/3.55 FIP ball with 7.71 K/9 and 3.86 BB/9.
As has been the case for most of his career, the left-handed Sipp was similarly effective against same- and right-handed hitters alike in 2019. The fact that Sipp has been passable against both could help his cause in trying to secure a contract, as MLB will be going to a three-batter minimum rule in 2020 that should make it especially difficult for lefties who struggle versus righties to find work.