The Blue Jays declined a pair of options on Kevin Gregg this week, making him a free agent. But with no in-house favorite to close games with Scott Downs and Jason Frasor also poised to hit the free agency, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Robert McLoed of the Globe and Mail that he isn’t ready to dismiss the possibility that Gregg could return next season.
“Like I explained to Kevin last night, we’re not prepared to lock him in right now,” Anthopoulos said. “But we may very well come back to him in two weeks or three weeks from now, after we’ve had a chance to continue to work through the off-season and the market.”
Anthopoulos added that Gregg was “very open” about the possibility of returning to the club.
Gregg, 32, posted a 3.51 ERA, 58/30 K/BB ratio and 37 saves in 43 chances over 59 innings this past season. The Jays gave him a $750,000 buyout this week, which suggests that Anthopoulous didn’t think it was worth it to retain Gregg for $3.75 million next season. He certainly isn’t anything special as far as closers go, but the Jays would do well to revisit the situation if the market dries up.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.