HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros introduced newly-signed, free agent relievers RHP Luke Gregerson and RHP Pat Neshek at a press conference this afternoon at Minute Maid Park. Earlier today, the Astros announced that both hurlers had been signed to multi-year contracts. Gregerson was signed to a three-year contract that will run through the 2017 season, while Neshek has signed a two-year deal that runs through the 2016 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Gregerson, 30, has been one of the most effective and durable relievers in the Majors since his debut in 2009. The right-hander owns a career 2.75 ERA (128ER/419.1IP) with 411 strikeouts and 122 walks in 435 total appearances. Last season, he posted a career-low 2.12 ERA (17ER/72.1IP) with 59 strikeouts in 72 appearances for the Oakland Athletics, tying for the club lead in appearances. He finished the season strong with an 0.73 ERA in 12 appearances in September. Gregerson's 435 appearances since 2009 are the most in the Major Leagues over that span, and he is one of just five MLB pitchers to make at least 60 appearances in each of the last six seasons (also LHP Craig Breslow, RHP Jonathan Papelbon, LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Brad Ziegler).
Neshek, 34, was a National League All-Star in 2014, posting a 7-2 record and a 1.87 ERA (14ER/67.1IP) in 71 appearances for the NL Central Division Champion St. Louis Cardinals with six saves. Neshek recorded 68 strikeouts and walked just nine batters last year, ranking fourth among MLB relievers in both WHIP (0.79) and walks per 9.0 innings (1.20). His 1.87 ERA ranked 7th among NL relievers while his .183 opp. batting average ranked 8th (allowed just 44 hits in 6.71 IP). Right-handed hitters hit just .177 off him. Neshek has posted an 11-4 record with a 2.26 ERA (32ER/127.1IP) since 2012, and his career .197 opponents' average ranks ninth among all active MLB pitchers (min. 250IP).
With the addition of Gregerson and Neshek, the Astros 40-man roster has 40 players.