According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Orioles are in talks with Kevin Gregg. This isn’t really news, because we already heard this before, but it’s the holidays and people are drinking lots of eggnog and stuff.
Gregg, 32, posted a 3.51 ERA along with a career-high 37 saves with the Blue Jays this past season, but he also averaged 4.58 BB/9 and has a 4.03 ERA for his career. Racking up saves will get you paid (see: Fernando Rodney with the Angels last offseason), but Gregg is obviously far from elite as far as closers go.
There’s also the question of why the Orioles would feel compelled to sign Gregg, especially since he would be no lock for the ninth inning now that the club has re-signed Koji Uehara. Don’t forget that Mike Gonzalez — who was signed last offseason to be the closer — is still under contract for $6 million next season. Either the Orioles are jonesin’ to spend some dough after being spurned by multiple free agents or they have concerns that Uehara and Gonzalez won’t be able to stay healthy. The latter sentiment is probably justified.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.