The Orioles won't have to wait much longer to find out whether they'll have reliever Kevin Gregg in their bullpen for the 2011 season.
Danny Horwits, the agent for Gregg, said this afternoon that his client's decision will come "this week, in the next couple of days."
The Orioles made the free-agent reliever, who saved 37 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, a two-year offer worth between $8 million and $10 million at last month's winter meetings. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has been in regular contact with Horwits while Gregg has been mulling offers from a couple of clubs.
The Orioles have altered their offer since the initial one was made, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
“We’ve been going back and forth with the teams that are left in the mix for the last couple of weeks,” Horwits said. “We’ve received new counter offers, fine-tuned other offers. Now, we’re pretty much in the mode of Kevin is going to make a decision.”
Horwits declined to say which teams are involved, but all signs indicate that the Orioles are one of the finalists for Gregg’s services.
“You’d have to ask Andy, but both sides, as far as I’m concerned, still have interest [in each other],” Horwits said.
In other Orioles news, infielder Cesar Izturis, who agreed to terms with the club early last month, is expected to complete his physical exam tomorrow, while Derrek Lee is scheduled to take the following day.
Once Lee is on board, the Orioles will likely be done with significant upgrades aimed at helping their offense. That means any talk about their going after Vladimir Guerrero or Jim Thome to DH and moving Luke Scott to left field probably could be classified as wishful thinking.
If they sign Gregg, the Orioles could add an additional pitcher or two -- maybe a starter and a left-handed reliever -- but it would be on small deals, perhaps even minor league pacts with invitations to big league spring training.
Go to mobile.baltimoresun.com to get news on your mobile device. Text BASEBALL to 70701 for Orioles text alerts.