Astros' fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief. (Credit CRPerry13 for the joke.)
In a rare early morning signing, after all it is roughly 7:00 am in San Diego where the Winter Meetings are taking place, the Astros have made their first splash of the offseason, signing Oakland A's reliever Luke Gregerson. USA Today's Bob Nightengale had it first.
Gregerson's 2014 season was arguably his best, although his 2013 was pretty good too. In 72 innings the righty posted a 2.12 ERA (3.24 FIP) with three saves. His strikeout rate of 7.34/9 was the lowest of his career, but so was his walk numbers. He walked just 1.87 batters per nine innings.
Gregerson has also been incredibly consistent, having an ERA of 2.75 or less in all four seasons since 2011. According to Fangraphs, he has outperformed his FIP in three of the last four seasons outside of a 2.71 ERA and 2.70 FIP in his outstanding 2013 season.
The 30-year old was originally drafted by the Cardinals in 2006 when Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was with St. Louis. After making $5.1 million with Oakland last year, Gregerson has gotten quite the raise for a pitcher that has never been a closer at the MLB level. But for this money, perhaps Gregerson will be competing for the closer's role with Chad Qualls.
To add to the excitement, Houston is now closing in on a deal with St. Louis Cardinals reliever Pat Neshak.
The Houston #Astros, who tried to sign Andrew Miller and David Robertson, now closing in on Pat Neshek after Gregerson"s $18.5 million deal— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 10, 2014
Neshak had a renaissance of sorts with the Cardinals in 2014, posting a career-bests with a 1.87 ERA, six saves and 1.8 WAR. At 34 years old, the side-winding Neshak may still have some years left in the tank.
neshek has a deal with astos. good pickups for houston.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2014
No details on numbers as of yet.
Can't fault the Astros for sitting on their hands now. Thoughts on these moves?