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 Blue Jays announced on Monday that outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list. To create room on the roster, the club designated outfielder Junior Lake for assignment and optioned 1B/OF Chris Colabello to Triple-A Buffalo.
Bautista was sidelined for five weeks dealing with turf toe, suffered when he banged his left foot against the base of the wall in right field at Citizens Bank Park. He’ll return hitting .230/.360/.455 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 286 plate appearances.
Neither Lake nor Colabello provided much in their time with the Jays. Colabello, who served an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, had just two singles, two walks, and an RBI in 32 plate appearances. Lake hit .206 with a home run in 38 PA.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reported on Monday morning that the Marlins are considering Mariners starter Wade Miley as a potential upgrade to the starting rotation. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reported on Sunday that the Phillies were scouting the lower level of the Marlins’ minor league system in preparation of a potential trade involving starter Jeremy Hellickson.
The Marlins were already on the prowl for rotation help before putting Wei-Yin Chen on the disabled list on Sunday due to a sprained left elbow. Behind Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley, the rotation is underwhelming as Tom Koehler has a 4.42 ERA, Jose Urena 5.34, and Jarred Cosart 7.98 albeit over three starts.
Miley, 29, will earn $8.75 million next season and has a club option for the ’18 season worth $12 million with a $500,000 buyout. This year, his first with the Mariners, the lefty has posted a disappointing 5.23 ERA with a 73/33 K/BB ratio in 105 innings.
Hellickson, 29, is owed the remainder of his $7 million salary for this season and will be eligible for free agency heading into 2017. The former Rookie of the Year Award winner been a reliable innings-eater for the Phillies, posting a 3.84 ERA with a 106/27 K/BB ratio in 119 2/3 innings.