Kevin Gregg went from closer to out of work reliever in a hurry and now the 34-year-old right-hander has signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers.
He’ll get an invitation to spring training, although the Dodgers’ bullpen is already pretty crowded and they also recently added Mark Lowe on a minor-league contract.
Gregg was never particularly well-suited to be a closer, racking up 143 saves from 2007-2011 despite an unimpressive 3.89 ERA and 4.7 walks per nine innings. He had a 4.95 ERA in 44 innings for the Orioles last season before getting released shortly before the playoffs.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.