Marlins sign Kevin Gregg to minor league deal

USA TODAY Sports

The nearly 36-year-old reliever will return to the club that he once closed for back in the late-2000's.

Update: As reported by Jon Heyman, Gregg will receive the prorated version of $2.1 million this season, which comes out to about $1.4 million, the same amount as the slot value for the 39th overall pick.

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The Miami Marlins will reportedly sign 35-year-old reliever (he turns 36 in a few weeks) Kevin Gregg, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The contract, which is a minor league deal, is pending a physical. Gregg was the Marlins' closer back in their "Florida" days, racking up 61 saves and a 125 ERA+ in 146 games from 2007-2008.

The Marlins plan to send Gregg to the minors for "eight or nine days" to stretch him out. He may be back in the big leagues as early as next week.

Gregg surprised many last year when he signed on as the Cubs' closer after two dismal years with Baltimore, and proceeded to post a 3.48 ERA (113 ERA+) with 33 saves in 62 innings. Gregg has pitched for seven organizations since being drafted by the Athletics in the 15th round of the 1996 draft. SInce earning his first closing gig in 2007, Gregg has recorded 176 saves, which is ninth among big league relievers during that span. Despite being subjected to some bad luck early in his career, Gregg has consistently outperformed his FIP. The last time his FIP was lower than his ERA was in 2006.

Gregg should fill in as a middle reliever with the Marlins, alongside Bryan Morris, who was acquired yesterday in exchange for Miami's competitive balance round A selection in Thursday's draft, which will be at 39th overall. As Rosenthal reports, the Marlin's goal in that deal appears to have been to clear cash (the draft slot is worth $1.4 million) so that the club could add another reliever, which turned out to be Gregg. The Marlins are 28-28, but still appear to be long shots to make the postseason, making this recent set of moves rather curious. It's tough to justify giving up a highly valuable draft pick just to add two middling relievers to a probable below-.500 squad.

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