Baltimore stuck with Kevin Gregg for nearly two entire seasons despite a 4.53 ERA and 64 walks in 103 innings, but today the Orioles decided not to keep him around for another three weeks.
Gregg has been designated for assignment, removing him from the 40-man roster with less than a month remaining on his two-year, $10 million contract that was misguided at the time and worked out about as poorly as expected.
Gregg had the “proven closer” label based on some save accumulating for the Cubs, Marlins, and Blue Jays, but he’s never been more than a mediocre setup man and at age 34 even that was a stretch.
Among everyone who started fewer than 25 career games and recorded at least 140 saves, Gregg is the only pitcher in baseball history with an ERA higher than 4.00.
Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.
Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.
Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.