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.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.