Report: Rays Show Interest in Kevin Gregg | The Process Report

Report: Rays Show Interest in Kevin Gregg

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When the Rays showed interest in Kevin Gregg last offseason, I wrote this:

Gregg was eligible for Type-A compensation but the Cubs chose against offering him arbitration due to a poor season. His career FIP is 4.00 and last year it was 4.93. Wanna know the secret behind that horrible year? It has to do with the fact that 15% of his fly balls went over the fence, his previous career high was 11.6% and his career percentage even now is 8.5%. That’s what we call a prime candidate for regression towards the mean. Ignore the home runs (i.e. use xFIP) and Gregg had one of the best seasons of his career when it came to strikeouts and walks. He misses bats and should be a bit undervalued, I suppose it really comes down to asking price.

Gregg went on to sign with the Blue Jays, thus testing the hypothesis of whether his statistics would regress towards league and career averages despite pitching in the wild American League East. How did he do? His ERA dropped more than a full run, as did his FIP, and his xFIP actually slightly increased. Otherwise? He had a successful season while closing for Toronto and asserting himself as someone who can pitch in the AL East.

Write him down as a fit. He has closer experience and could man the role for the Rays, but make no mistake: he’s not likely to be the best reliever in the pen (and might not be the best righty in the pen depending on what happens with Grant Balfour). He’s a Type B free agent now, which doesn’t affect his value much. Sure, the Jays would receive a sandwich round pick for him, but not at the expense of the Rays; plus someone is going to sign him anyways, and it makes no difference who does it, just that someone does.

The Rays are going to show interest in a lot of Type B free agent middle relievers and there’s a lot of them out there. They’ll snap up one of them. It’s just a matter of time.



2 Comments

  1. steveospeak wrote:

    Curious to get a Rays fan take, but it seems to me that a team on a budget can’t put too much money into their bullpen. While I like Gregg, Crain and Jenks for the Rays that seems like money and years Tampa doesn’t really have. For sometime I’ve been wondering if a Tyler Clippard deal made sense for the Rays for some of their young pitching prospects, just wanted to hear your take. Thanks

    • Tommy Rancel wrote:

      I think the Rays would love to add younger, cheaper arms in an ideal world. A guy like Clippard would cost them a player in a trade whereas the Gregg types would cost a years salary. I think the team likes the idea of adding some good relivers on one-year contracts and then snagging compensation draft picks the following year.

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