Mariners News: M’s Sign RHP Kevin Gregg to Minor League Deal


The Mariners have announced the signing of veteran reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract on May 20th. This move comes on the heels of the Yoervis Medina for Welington Castillo trade, and this signing now has me completely scratching my head.

Kevin Gregg had a terrible year last year for the Marlins, and the Reds have cast him away after just 39 games and 11 appearances. Kevin Gregg has pitched just 19.2 innings since the beginning of 2014, giving up 22 runs in the process. The 37 year old seems to be well past his prime, as he has bested his already mediocre career ERA of 4.24 just twice since 2009.

What you can expect from Kevin Gregg is a guy who relies on his fastball a ton, and someone who works in a slider, cutter, and split finger. His fastball will stay right around the 90 MPH range, so he won’t be overpowering hitters by any means. That being said, he still has some strikeout stuff in him, as his strikeout per nine innings so far this year is at an impressive 11.81. The issue with him has been giving up the deep ball, allowing 2.53 home runs per nine innings, far too many to be an effective reliever. Maybe the Mariners are hoping that he can regain his confidence in the minors, and that the bigger park that is Safeco will be able to hold in some of those balls and make him effective.

If I had to guess, the Mariners are hoping he can be called up and moved into the eight-inning role, given his background and the Mariners still searching for that guy. That being said, the Reds tried using him this year as an eighth inning setup man, but that didn’t work out for them right from the get go. On opening day, with the Reds up two, he gave up a game tying two run blast, and since then he just wasn’t able to recover. Sometimes that is hard to shake off, and Kevin Gregg wasn’t able to.

Some positives that Kevin Gregg will bring to the Mariners organization is his 177 career saves, which means that he obviously has some stuff. Also, since 2003 he has been able to find his way on a Major League Baseball roster, so even though his numbers aren’t quite there, his stuff seems to be better than his numbers might suggest.

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One thing to keep in mind with this signing is that he has been signed to a minor league contract, which means there is no guarantee we will even see him in a Mariners’ uniform. But, it still makes me scratch my head, because if the Mariners are concerned with their bullpen depth as this move suggests, then why did they trade away a power arm in Medina like they did yesterday? I would understand a little more if they got a little more value out of the deal yesterday, but they got a backup catcher who hasn’t hit well so far this year. Not to mention Medina is a young reliever who has closer stuff, while Gregg is a guy on the very back end of his career, posting an ERA above ten last year with the Marlins and this year with the Reds.

It will be interesting to see what the Mariners end up doing with Kevin Gregg, and if I had to guess you probably won’t even see him this summer at Safeco Field. His best years seem to be well behind him, and I don’t think Mariners’ fans should read too much into this move.

Next: Mariners News: M’s Acquire C Welington Castillo From Chicago Cubs

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