FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are “close” to signing reliever Kevin Gregg. Last week manager Cito Gaston was asked about the Blue Jays’ closer situation and replied:
We have a couple of guys that can close, [Scott] Downs, [Jason] Frasor. But we’re going to kind of throw that up in the air. And who knows? We might even be lucky enough to bring somebody else in that can help out, too. It’s going to be between those two and anybody else that [general manager] Alex Anthopoulos brings into camp.
Along those same lines Gregg’s agent said previously that the 32-year-old right-hander was looking for a place where he’d have a chance to close, so Toronto is probably the best fit.
Over the past three seasons Gregg has blown 20 saves in 104 chances while posting a 3.86 ERA with 107 walks in 221.1 innings, so he’s hardly anyone’s idea of an ideal closer. However, the same is true of Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, and if nothing else adding Gregg gives the Blue Jays another setup-caliber reliever to work into the mix.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”