Kevin Gregg talks about signing with the Orioles
I had a chance to speak with Kevin Gregg, the newest Oriole, on the phone a few minutes ago. Here’s much of that interview:
Why the Orioles?
“Opportunity. And I’m trying to build off what the team did last year. In talking to Andy [Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] and Buck [manager Buck Showalter], they wanted to make that bullpen deeper. And it is a good young team with a lot of energy. It looks like a good thing to be a part of.”
On being the closer in 2011:
“I want to close. I’ve talked to Andy and I have talked to Buck about it, and I told them what I wanted. I had 37 saves in this division last year. I have shown I can do it. I have averaged 30 saves in the last four years. I love doing it, but we’ll see when the season begins.”
On whether he has been told he is definitely the Orioles’ closer for 2011:
“You’ll have to ask those guys [MacPhail and Showalter] that question.”
More on choosing the Orioles:
“There is definitely opportunity there. It’s what led me this way: closing. That’s important to me. It’s also important being on a team that is young and has the potential to win. That’s important.”
Competing in the AL East:
“It’s definitely a tough situation. But if you follow the moves [this offseason], the Yankees haven’t made any moves. Boston, obviously, has made itself stronger. Toronto has done a couple of small things, and Tampa [Bay] hasn’t really made any moves and their payroll is going down. I think there is definitely an opportunity … to make an impact and get Baltimore back to where it needs to be in competing for a title.”
On the bullpen having at least five relievers with at least one 10-save big league season on their resume:
“That’s pretty unbelievable if you think about it. That gives us depth. You know you are going to get your rest, everybody can take a day off and not worry about who is handling the ball at the end of a game or how they’ll handle the pressure, be it the sixth, seventh or eighth innings. It gives Buck flexibility.”
On knowing some of the Orioles:
“I played with Derrek Lee in Chicago, and that’s an unbelievable signing. He adds a ton in the clubhouse, and his on-field stuff speaks for itself. … He’s a great teammate, and he has really helped guys move in the right direction.”
On other Orioles players:
“I’ll get to know them. I saw them 19 times last year and liked what I saw.”
Has it been unnerving waiting so long for a final agreement?
“A little bit. Luckily, I have had lots of interest. I have been weighing all those things, what’s best for me and my family to move forward, and we’ve been talking to each of the teams to see where we were at. There were just a million different decisions to make, and it made the process take a little while.”
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