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.
Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.
The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:
That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.
Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.
Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.