In another move designed to bolster a struggling bullpen, the Marlins on Tuesday agreed to a minor-league deal with former closer Kevin Gregg, who saved 33 games for the Cubs last season and ranks fourth on the Marlins’ all-time saves list with 61.
The 35-year old right-hander, who appeared in 146 games and posted a combined 3.48 ERA for the Marlins between the 2007 and 2008 seasons, still has to pass a physical. But once he does he will begin a stint in the minors before being called up to provide some setup help for closer Steve Cishek.
Gregg has been a free agent since he ended the 2013 season with 2-6 record, 3.48 ERA and converting 33 of 38 save chances in Chicago. He reportedly had been staying in shape by working out and pitching to college hitters near his home in Oregon.
Gregg will be paid with the $1.4 million slot the Marlins were due to spend on the 39th pick in this week’s draft.
Miami traded the pick to the Pirates to get right-handed reliever Bryan Morris on Sunday.
“I know I can pitch in the big leagues,” Gregg told the Chicago Sun-Times last week. “I know I can get outs in the big leagues. I know I can still close; I did it last year.”
Derek Dietrich’s defensive struggles at second base kept him out of the starting lineup Monday night against the Rays, and he could end up getting a couple more days off to clear his head, Redmond said.
“I think it worked before,” Redmond said. “We gave him a couple days off and let him relax. He seemed to play much better after that. I’m hoping that’s the key.”
Dietrich’s seven errors at second base are tied for the National League lead with Dan Uggla. Offensively, his OPS (.785) ranks third among second basemen with at least 100 at-bats, behind only Chase Utley (.905) and Jose Altuve (.788).
Dietrich has started 36 games for the Marlins at second base. Jeff Baker is the next closest teammate with 10 starts at second.
• Right-handed reliever Bryan Morris, acquired in a trade Sunday with the Pirates for the 39th overall pick in this week’s MLB draft, arrived in Miami on Monday morning after bad weather kept him and his wife grounded in Houston for the night Sunday.
What kind of role can Morris expect with the Marlins?
“Really any situation,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We know the stuff he has.”
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 2.97 ERA) vs. Tampa Bay Rays RHP Chris Archer (3-2, 4.00), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18) vs. Rays LHP David Price (4-4, 4.27), 7:10 p.m., Tropicana Field.