Astros sign free agent relievers Gregerson, Neshek
Press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. today at Minute Maid Park
HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have signed free agent relievers RHP Luke Gregerson and RHP Pat Neshek to multi-year contracts, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today. 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.
The Astros will host a press conference today at 4 p.m. at Minute Maid Park that will include Gregerson, Neshek, Luhnow and Astros manager A.J. Hinch. Media may enter through the South Homeplate Entrance off Texas Ave.
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.