Reports: Cardinals sign Luke Gregerson to two-year deal

Denis Poroy/Getty Images
11 Comments

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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
Getty Images
2 Comments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.