Kevin Gregg put on a show in his first spring training with the Dodgers, the team he rooted for growing up.
His release Tuesday was heralded with a one-sentence press release.
The 35-year-old reliever did not report to the Albuquerque Isotopes after the Dodgers assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate last Saturday. The Triple-A season was set to begin tomorrow, and Gregg’s release is a strong indication there wasn’t going to be any room for him on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster in the next 24 hours.
On the surface, that seems like less of an indictment on Gregg and more the result of the Dodgers’ inability (or their unwillingness) to trade any of their surplus starters: Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly. Capuano and Harang remain on the active roster, Capuano with a defined bullpen role and Harang in “no-man’s land.” Lilly is on the 15-day disabled list.
All three pitchers had one major advantage: They’re all on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster. Gregg was not. He came to camp on a minor-league contract, posted a 0.83 ERA in spring (one earned run in 11 innings), and was among the last round of cuts when the final bullpen job went to left-hander Paco Rodriguez. Rodriguez is also on the 40-man roster.
It’s hard to believe that Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti hasn’t fielded a single offer for Lilly, Harang or Capuano. Presumably, he’s had to walk a fine line between making a trade that would open a roster spot for Gregg and fetch a return that would benefit the team.
There should be a market for Gregg, who saved 143 games the last six seasons. In 2012, his first season in a non-closer’s role since 2006, he went 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA for the Baltimore Orioles.