When last we heard from veteran reliever Kevin Gregg it was April and he was bashing sabermetrics, complaining that the Cubs didn’t re-sign him, and “just waiting for an opportunity” to return to the majors at age 36.
Gregg will apparently get that opportunity in Miami, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins have signed the right-hander to a minor-league contract with plans to call him up after a week or two in the minors getting back into game shape.
Gregg was the Marlins’ closer in 2007 and 2008, saving a total of 61 games with a 3.48 ERA in 153 innings. In the five seasons since then he has a combined 4.18 ERA and ugly rate of 4.8 walks per nine innings. “Proven closer” silliness aside, he shouldn’t be more than a middle reliever at this point.
The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.
This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.
The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.