Aaron Gleeman

Pat Neshek

Pat Neshek was “seconds away” from signing with Pirates

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Pat Neshek agreed to a two-year, $12.5 million contract with Houston this morning, but the side-arming reliever admitted to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he “was probably seconds away from signing with Pittsburgh.”

According to Neshek he told his agent to accept the Pirates’ offer, but before they got off the phone the Astros called and upped their bid when they found out.

Neshek had two-year offers from a total of eight different teams following a remarkable comeback season in which he threw 67 innings with a 1.87 ERA and 68/9 K/BB ratio for the Cardinals while making his first All-Star team at age 33.

Jimmy Rollins would accept a trade to the Dodgers

Jimmy Rollins
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Jimmy Rollins has the ability to veto any trade, so there have been plenty of stories about the Phillies shortstop not being willing to accept potential moves to other teams.

However, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com Rollins would accept a trade to the Dodgers … if the Dodgers are interested.

Los Angeles lost shortstop Hanley Ramirez to free agency and could be looking for a short-term stop gap to keep the position warm until top prospect Corey Seager is ready. Rollins would fit that bill at age 36 and with one season (and $11 million) remaining on his contract.

Of course, Heyman says “the Phillies seeek a big-time prospect in return” for Rollins and … well, that ain’t happening.

Sergio Romo is talking to the Giants and the Tigers

sergio romo getty
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Now that most of the big free agent relievers are off the market Sergio Romo should emerge as a popular target.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the 31-year-old right-hander “has been in talks with” his old team, the Giants, as well as the Tigers.

Romo’s lack of durability and reliance on a slider makes him a riskier-than-usual reliever and his ERA has risen from 1.79 in 2012 to 2.54 in 2013 to 3.72 in 2014.

However, he posted a strong 59/12 K/BB ratio in 58 innings this year and finished the season by allowing just two runs in his final 23 appearances along with a 23/3 K/BB ratio.

Diamondbacks are “listening to offers” for Wade Miley

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Having already traded a one-time building block player in catcher Miguel Montero the Diamondbacks are now willing to deal starter Wade Miley.

Bob Nightingale of USA Today reports that Arizona is “listening to offers” on the 28-year-old left-hander, who struggled this year with a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts.

Miley had a 3.33 ERA in 2012 and a 3.55 ERA in 2013, and his secondary numbers this year weren’t as bad as his ERA. He’s arbitration eligible for the first time and under team control through 2017, so presumably the Diamondbacks would want a significant return for him.

Astros sign Luke Gregerson for $18.5 million

Luke Gregerson A's
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Houston failed to land free agent relievers Andrew Miller or David Robertson, but the Astros have snagged their No. 3 bullpen target.

Bob Nightingale of USA Today reports that the Astros have signed right-hander Luke Gregerson to a three-year, $18.5 million deal.

Gregerson spent this past season with the A’s, throwing 72 innings with a 2.12 ERA and 59/15 K/BB ratio in a setup role. He has a lifetime 2.75 ERA in 435 appearances, with a sub-3.25 ERA in each of his six seasons as a big leaguer.

Calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home for his first five seasons definitely helped Gregerson’s raw numbers, but it’s still impressive that he’s thrown the second-most innings of any reliever since 2009 (behind only Tyler Clippard) and ranks ninth in ERA during that time.