Luke Gregerson RP HOU 3 Months

Gregerson agreed to a three-year, $18.5 million contract with the Astros on Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

Despite the Astros' lack of attractive bullpen arms, it's not believed that Gregerson will compete for closing duties. The team should clarify his exact role as the winter progresses, but at the very least, Gregerson should immediately become the team's most dependable arm at the back end of the bullpen. The right-hander has been one of baseball's elite middle relievers since reaching the big leagues in 2009, accumulating a career 2.75 ERA and 8.8 K/9 rate.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 6 Months

Gregerson took the loss Wednesday, giving up two hits and a walk in the eighth inning to blow a 1-0 lead against the White Sox.

Gregerson wasn't hit extremely hard, but was victimized by a Carlos Sanchez single, botched double-play attempt, intentional walk to load the bases and a go-ahead two-run single by Avisail Garcia. The setup man was thought to potentially get some ninth inning work this week after interim closer Eric O'Flaherty had some shaky outings, but he again pitched the eighth inning.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 6 Months

Gregerson took the loss on Tuesday night, blowing a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning by allowing a mammoth three-run homer to Chris Carter.

Gregerson was thought to maybe be the closer with the injury to Sean Doolittle, but Manager Bob Melvin decided to keep Gregerson in his eighth inning role. Gregerson has been great this year prior to the loss on Tuesday and his ERA on the year still sits at 2.44 with a sparkling WHIP under 1.00.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 6 Months

Gregerson will likely be left in the eighth inning role, despite Sean Doolittle being placed on the DL with an oblique injury, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports.

Manager Bob Melvin said he wants to keep people with defined roles in those roles, and the general consensus among the A's beat writers was that Eric O'Flaherty will be the fill-in closer, which lessens the appeal of Gregerson as a speculative add for saves.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 6 Months

Gregerson's teammate Sean Doolittle felt a pain in his side following Saturday's game, one in which Gregerson got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning.

If Doolittle can't go Sunday, Gregerson could be in line for the next save chance. After a dicey stretch earlier this year, Gregerson has been great for the A's, posting a 2.17 ERA, 0.983 WHIP and 48:12 K:BB in 58 innings. He's had a handful of saves over the years, so pitching the ninth won't be a foreign experience for him should the occasion arise.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 10 Months

Luke Gregerson allowed two runs on three hits to blow his third save in Tuesday's 5-4 setback against the Rangers.

It could have been worse. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland blasted a double to lead off the ninth. Skipper Ron Washington had Robinson Chirinos lay down a bunt to get Moreland to third, and he called a risky suicide squeeze with Leonys Martin up. Martin's bunt came right back to Gregerson, who made a nifty shuffle to Derek Norris to nail Moreland, who may or may not have missed a sign. With two outs, Gregerson hung a pitch that Josh Wilson hammered for a game-tying double, and then Michael Choice singled him in. Gregerson is 3-for-6 in save conversions, and has punted two of his last three, so you have to wonder if Jim Johnson will enter the ninth inning the next time Oakland has a save opportunity.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 11 Months

Luke Gregerson earned his third save of the season in Sunday's win over the Astros.

Gregerson threw a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one, for the save. He's got a 1.69 ERA and 0.75 WHIP through 10 2/3 innings and although A's manager Bob Melvin has committed to a closer-by-committee, Gregerson has the kind of stuff to be an effective closer. For now, though, he simply remains a player to watch until the situation in Oakland becomes clearer.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 11 Months

Luke Gregerson blew his second save of the season by coughing up a ninth inning run Wednesday in a loss to the Angels.

Nursing a 4-3 lead, Gregerson was brought on to finish things out against the top of Los Angeles' lineup. He didn't have trouble with J.B. Shuck, but consecutive singles put Mike Trout on third and Albert Pujols on first. Howie Kendrick's fielder's choice tied the game before Gregerson was able to escape. Gregerson and Sean Doolittle, the committee appointed to replace Jim Johnson, have both blown saves in the past few days, and Johnson is pitching well again, so one wonders if Bob Melvin is going to get the $10 million man back into the ninth inning the next time Oakland has a save opportunity. It isn't like Gregerson has been bad or anything. He owns a 1.86 ERA and 0.83 WHIP and hadn't given up a run since April 2 prior to this evening.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 11 Months

Luke Gregerson earned the save for a second consecutive day by hurling a perfect ninth inning Monday against the Angels.

Jim Johnson tossed a scoreless eighth inning when Oakland trailed 2-1, and Gregerson was given the save chance after John Jaso cranked a two-run homer off Ernest Frieri in the top of the ninth. That turn of events also gave Johnson his first 2014 victory (against two losses). Gregerson and the southpaw Sean Doolittle will continue to swap save chances until Bob Melvin regains confidence in Jim Johnson, who is up to three straight scoreless innings.

Luke Gregerson RP HOU 11 Months

After Sean Doolittle did the heavy-lifting, Luke Gregerson retired two of the four Mariners he faced to earn a save on Saturday.

Doolittle pitched a perfect eighth and then retired Kyle Seager to start the ninth. However, after the Mariners decided to pinch-hit Willie Bloomquist for Logan Morrison, the A's countered with Gregerson. He went on to allow back-to-back singles but then struck out Michael Saunders and induced a groundout from John Buck to end it. It's pretty much a free-for-all for saves in the Oakland pen right now, but after Jim Johnson's impressive showing Friday, he might get another try in the ninth within a week or two.