Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cardinals have signed free agent reliever Luke Gregerson to a two-year deal worth $11 million. The deal, which is pending a physical, also includes a vesting option for the 2020 season. According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Gregerson will earn $5 million each season and will earn another $1 million if his buyout clause is exercised.
Gregerson, 33, spent the last three seasons with the Astros, culminating in a championship in 2017. During the regular season, he posted a 4.57 ERA with a 70/20 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. He didn’t allow a run in 3 2/3 innings across five appearances in the postseason.
Peripherals suggest Gregerson could have a bounce-back year in 2018, if one believes his home run rate — 13 allowed in 55 total fly balls, or 23.6 percent — to be a fluke. The right-hander’s strikeout rates the past two seasons — 29.1 percent and 26.6 percent — have been his highest since his first two seasons in the majors.
Now that the Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani situations have been settled, we’re likely to see a lot of free agent dominoes start to fall, especially with the winter meetings getting under way.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.