The Orioles' two-year, $10 million deal with reliever Kevin Gregg includes a vesting/team option for the 2013 season. The option vests if Gregg finishes 50 games during the 2012 season or 100 games combined between the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
It has been reported that the 2013 option could be worth as much as $10 million. That's not accurate. The option is for $6 million. There are escalators in the deal, but none that would allow him to earn anywhere near $10 million in 2013. If the option doesn't vest, the Orioles have the option to exercise it at $6 million or decline it.
How realistic is it that Gregg finishes 50 games in 2012 or 100 combined in 2011 and 2012?
Well, seven American League relievers this past season finished 50 games: Neftali Feliz (59), Kevin Gregg (56), Joakim Soria (56), Rafael Soriano (56), Mariano Rivera (55), Jose Valverde (55) and Jonathan Papelbon (53). Nine pitchers in the National League did it: Carlos Marmol (70), Matt Capps (56), Francisco Cordero (64), Billy Wagner (64), Brian Wilson (59), Heath Bell (57), Ryan Franklin (51), Octavio Dotel (50) and Leo Nunez (50).
Looking at it over a two-year period, only 12 relievers have finished 100 total games the previous two seasons. They are Cordero (123), Wilson (119), Bell (116), Capps (116), Papelbon (112), Francisco Rodriguez (112), Rivera (110), Soriano (108), Gregg (107), Franklin (105), Jonathan Broxton (104) and Valverde (100).
But the bottom line is this: If Gregg is able to finish 50 games in 2012 or 100 combined between 2011 and 2012, the Orioles will still have a very solid reliever on their hands, and they'll still want him in 2013.
-- Jeff Zrebiec
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