Could Gregg unseat Koji as O’s closer?
The Orioles made a two-year offer worth between $8 to $10 million to free agent Kevin Gregg at this week’s winter meetings. As far as I know, the two sides remain in negotiations and the Orioles still think they have a shot at Gregg, the 32-year-old right-hander who saved 37 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season.
But they may have to promise him the closer role in order to get him.
Gregg wants to close, and that could be one of the deciding factors in him picking his team for 2011. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the other day that the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox are all in on Gregg.
Gregg has 121 saves over the past four seasons and he’s blown 26 saves during that span, including six last year. Would you rather have him as your closer than Uehara?
Uehara converted 13 of 15 save opportunities last year and while he has the tendency to give up the long ball, he also throws a ton of strikes and doesn’t walk people, a great quality to have for a closer.
In confirming yesterday that the Orioles had agreed to terms with Uehara on a one-year, $3 million deal with a vesting option for 2012, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail wouldn’t commit to Uehara as the Orioles’ closer, saying that is manager Buck Showalter’s decision.
It’s also interesting to point out that Uehara’s vesting option is based on both games finished and games pitched in, the latter one covering the Japanese right-hander if he’s not the closer.