Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings begin on Monday, but the St. Louis Cardinals decided to get things started on the club’s bullpen Sunday, reportedly signing veteran right-hander Luke Gregerson to a two-year, $11 million contract, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
The 33-year-old Gregerson was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2006 draft, ultimately being dealt to the San Diego Padres in 2009. He would debut for the Padres later that year and took almost immediate control as the bullpen’s setup man. His new deal reportedly carries a $6 million option for a third year, though the Cardinals have not yet confirmed the signing.
Starting with the bullpen makes sense for St. Louis — the Cardinals are currently poised to lose both Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-hwan Oh, the club’s top two relievers over the last two seasons.
Gregerson, fresh off winning his first World Series title as a member of the Houston Astro, posted career-worst numbers last season, he posted a 4.57 ERA with just 70 strikeouts in 61 innings. Over the course of 623 appearances through nine big-league seasons split between the Padres, Athletics, and Astros, Gregerson has a 3.02 ERA with 607 strikeouts, 170 walks, and 66 saves in 599 innings.