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.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.