I really don’t want to whine and complain every time a free agent reliever is signed to a shiny new contract, but what exactly are the Orioles hoping to get out of signing Kevin Gregg to a $10 million contract over two years, plus a vesting option?

Between Gregg and last year’s favourite mistake Mike Gonzalez, Baltimore now has $11 million wrapped up in two relievers who likely rank as the second and third best options to close on the team.  For only $3 million next season, the Orioles were able to convince Koji Uehara to come back in 2011.  Last year the Japanese reliever pitched 44 innings of relief, accumulating a 2.40 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, and an astounding 11.00 K/BB ratio (the league average was 2.17).

If he doesn’t end up closing, Gregg will join Jason Berken and Jim Johnson further down the right handed relief pecking order.  All three pitchers are similarly adequate, but Berken and Johnson combined won’t account for a fifth of what Gregg will cost the Orioles.

Shall we play the reliever guess who game?

Pitcher A: 4.44 K/BB, 0.68 HR/9, 1.41 WHIP, and 3.08 FIP.

Pitcher B: 1.93 K/BB, 0.61 HR/9, 1.39 WHIP, and 3.57 FIP.

Pitcher C: 2.37 K/BB, 0.72 HR/9, 1.33 WHIP, and 3.59 FIP.

Pitcher B is Kevin Gregg who will make $5 million this coming season, Pitcher A is Jim Johnson who is entering his first year of arbitration.  Pitcher C is Jason Berken who will make around the league minimum next season.

The signing also means that Baltimore’s AL East rival Blue Jays receive another compensation pick, giving Toronto seven of the first 72 picks in the 2011 draft.

Comments (12)

  1. Dumb signing for sure, but it sort of falls in line with the other dumb contracts handed out to relievers this year.

    That is good news for the Jays though. If AA even hits on 2 or 3 of those picks, the Jays’ farm system is in great shape.

  2. I’ve responded to a couple of forum posts by people who seem to think that the Orioles have improved their team this off-season. Baffling.

  3. On the other hand, the Os shored up their infield with Hardy and Reynolds using only surplus relievers. Not bad.

  4. I’m not convinced that Reynolds in the AL East is shoring up on anything but strikeouts.

  5. I think this proves why the Dotel signing was a good one in this marketplace.

    The 7 of the top 72 probably becomes 7 of the top 80 or so when the rest of the Type As & Bs sign. And before we get too excited, the Rays & Red Sox have even more picks than the Blue Jays do.

  6. The Jays got better value with their redundant addition, saving one million dollars and getting a draft pick.

  7. Bash the Ks all you want, but Reynolds is a year removed from a .900 OPS season with a respectable OBP. If not for a ridiculous outlier in his BABIP, last year would’ve been fine too.

  8. Now they can use Gregg (or one of the other dudes) to close since that’s what he’s “getting paid” to do, and use Uehara for the actual high-leverage situations. Like the Jays did with Downs. I don’t know if that’s what they’re actually thinking, since it’s still a ridiculous amount of money for him, but whatever.

  9. Reynolds could make someone like Sabathia or Morrow look fantastic in a single outing. Sure, Reynolds may hit one dinger out of 4 at bats in a game, but if I’m the Orioles I’m acquiring all the high OBP players I can to put in front of him, because he won’t be doing much to move the runners along other than have them perform the jog back to second base after he whiffs the other three times.

  10. You know that post we see every off-season at a certain point, “Building a Team From the Scraps”? I think it’s coming true.

  11. Kevin Gregg was caught leaving a gay bar last season…

  12. So what? A man can pitch or catch whatever he wants.

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