Luke Gregerson is on the market, and could be used to solidify the bullpen, along with Sergio Romo, whom I wrote about earlier this week. The duo of Gregerson in the eighth, and Romo in the ninth would nail down many more victories for the Astros, in comparison to the bullpen they had in 2014; a bullpen that was accountable for 26 losses on the season, and held a cumulative 4.80 ERA.
Luke Gregerson has been a solid setup guy in his six major league seasons, never posting an ERA above 3.24 in that time. In the last four seasons, Gregerson’s highest ERA was 2.75, which is also his career average. The 30-year old righty also averages 25 holds and 70 1/3 innings per season. The Astros totaled 66 holds in 2014, with twelve coming from Tony Sipp, and ten from Darin Downs. The rest were strewn about the bullpen.
Holds, not the sexiest stat, but it’s the best indicator of how effective a setup man is.
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MLBTradeRumors compared Gregerson to some relievers who have signed free agent deals in recent years, and the value ranges from Javier Lopez ($13M) to Brandon League ($22.5M), with each contract being over three years, which is what Gregerson is expected to receive.
If that is the price range that Gregerson is expected to sign within, he is well within the Astros’ financial constraints. In fact the Astros could sign Romo AND Gregerson, and still have room for a little more this offseason.
Besides wielding an awesome mustache, Gregerson, like Romo has command of a nasty slider. While they have track records of being highly effective, pairing the two together could get hitters geared up for a feast of sliders. Regardless, the addition of either, or both, of these players would help solidify the back-end of the bullpen, and lead to much success in 2015.