Houston Astros sign Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek


The Houston Astros weren’t going to be denied relief pitching this offseason. The team signed Luke Gregerson and Pat Neskek to multi-year deals on Wednesday, after missing out on efforts to sign David Robertson and Andrew Miller.

Gregerson, formerly with the Oakland Athletics, was welcomed to Houston with a three-year, $18.5 million contract, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Gregerson enjoyed moderate success in his 2014 campaign, appearing in 72 games while pitching to a 2.12 ERA. He was given a chance at the A’s closer role early on in the season, following the struggles of Jim Johnson, but faltered badly – blowing 8 saves in 11 chances.

There is a track record of success in a setup role with Gregerson, with that likely how the Astros plan to utilize him.

Neshek, meanwhile, was greeted with a two-year, $12.5 million deal that contains a third year option, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

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The right-handed enjoyed great success this past season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in 71 games, throwing 67.1 IP with a fantastic 1.87 ERA and a 7-2 record. He was called upon ten times to close out games for the Cardinals, saving six of them.

Houston’s bullpen this past season saw a total of 56 save opportunities, but only managed to close out 31 of them – a 55% save percentage. Chad Qualls was the team’s main guy during the year, collecting 19 saves. Five other players had at least one.

The team needed to make a move for their bullpen and this would appear to improve things greatly. My gut says that Neshek could be used in the closer role with Gregerson and Qualls as setup men in seventh and eighth innings. However the matchups work out, the Astros got themselves a great deal, acquiring two talented relievers for roughly the same price that they would have paid to get just one of Robertson or Miller.