Cardinals Formalize Luke Gregerson Signing

photo: Luke Gregerson (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Thursday, December 14) that they have signed free-agent right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson to a two-year (2018-19) contract that includes a team option for the 2020 season that could vest based on incentives.

Luke Gregerson (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The nine-year veteran, who has pitched in the Major Leagues with San Diego (2009-13), Oakland (2014) and Houston (2015-17), has limited opposing right-handers to a .200 average that ranks as fifth-lowest among qualified Major League relievers since his 2009 debut. The 6-3, 210-pound Gregerson is also one of only five Major League pitchers to make 60 or more appearances in at least eight seasons, while his 623 total appearances are the most for any Major League reliever, ranking ahead of Tyler Clippard (617) and Brad Ziegler (610) in that time frame.

Last season, the 33-year-old went 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA (61.0 IP) and 70 strikeouts in a team-leading 65 games for Houston. His 70 strikeouts were his highest total since fanning 72 (71.2 IP) for San Diego in 2012.

In 10 career postseason appearances with Oakland and Houston which culminated with the 2017 World Series championship, Gregerson recorded a 1.08 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 8.1 combined innings.

Gregerson ranked 10th in the American League after converting 31 saves in his first season with Houston in 2015. The following season, Gregerson’s .183 average against (38-208) was the fifth-lowest mark among AL relievers (minimum 100 batters faced), while his career-best .156 mark (17-109) against right-handers ranked sixth.

Originally selected by St. Louis in the 28th round of the June 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Gregerson was included as the player-to-be-named later to complete the 2008 offseason trade with San Diego that also included pitcher Mark Worrell for shortstop Khalil Greene. Gregerson made 363 appearances over five seasons with the Padres, which ranks third in San Diego club history behind RHP Trevor Hoffman (902) and LHP Craig Lefferts (375).

The Park Ridge, Ill. native was also a member of Team USA in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics, winning the WBC title this past spring.

The addition of Gregerson brings the Cardinals’ 40-man Major League roster to capacity.

Brian Walton’s take

The above press release simply formalizes the signing, which was first disclosed on Sunday. For my comments on the deal, click here to review my earlier article.

From Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, here is Gregerson’s salary breakdown of the two-year, $11 million guaranteed deal: $5 MM in 2018, $ 5 MM in 2019, $5 MM option in 2020 (or $1 MM buyout). The option vests with 60 games pitched in 2019 or 130 games in 2018-19 and if he is healthy. Also there are $1 MM in incentives.

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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