Shortly after signing Luke Gregerson, the Astros added fellow free agent RHP Pat Neshek, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Gregerson's contract is worth $18.5 million over three years, while Neshek's deal is worth $12.5 million over two years, with an option for a third year.
Gregerson became a free agent after wrapping up his only season with the Oakland A's in 2014. After breaking in with San Diego in 2009, Gregerson would spend five years with the Padres, before being traded to Oakland for Seth Smith last offseason. In his lone year with the A's, Gregerson posted a career-best 2.12 ERA over 72 appearances. For his career, Gregerson a 2.75 ERA over 435 appearances.
Like Gregerson, Neshek is also coming off one of the top years of his career. After signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Cardinals last offseason, Neshek would go on to post a 1.87 ERA over 71 appearances with the Cards. After five seasons of injuries and inconsistencies with Minnesota and San Diego, Neshek revived his career in Oakland back in 2012, posting a 2.70 ERA over two years with the A's. Despite having a fastball that generally sits in the high 80's, Neshek's devistating slider led to a 9.09 K/9 rate in 2014.
The Astros had been contenders for free agents David Robertson and Andrew Miller, but when both pitchers signed elsewhere, the Astros turned their focus to both Gregerson and Neshek. Even if the Astros find themselves struggling yet again in 2015, both pitchers could become potential trade pieces, bringing in even more young talent to the Astros' organization, as noted by Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.