Astros finalize deals with Gregerson, Neshek

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HOUSTON (AP) — Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek are hoping they can help the Houston Astros keep going in the right direction.

The Astros finalized contracts with the righty relievers Friday, a big part of general manager Jeff Luhnow's offseason plan.

Luhnow said the Astros wanted to boost their bullpen this winter by adding arms that "will allow us to win games we're supposed to win." Houston went 70-92 last season after averaging 108 losses in the previous three years.

Gregerson is guaranteed $18.5 million over three years from Houston and Neshek $12.5 million over two years. The contracts were agreed to this week at the winter meetings.

Newly hired manager A.J. Hinch, who worked in San Diego's front office when Gregerson played for the Padres, said the pitchers had a solid track record. Hinch said he could "trust the heartbeat in both of them."

Gregerson, 30, spent five years with San Diego, then went 5-5 with a 2.12 ERA in 72 appearances for Oakland last season. He could take over as closer from Chad Qualls.

"I'm open for any opportunity I get here," Gregerson said. "We're here to get outs."

Gregerson has pitched in the late innings, setting up Huston Street with the Padres and Sean Doolittle with the A's. He receives $6 million next year and $6.25 million in each of the final two seasons.

Neshek gets $5.5 million next year and $6.5 million in 2016. The deal includes an option at $6 million to $9 million, depending on his performance, with a $500,000 buyout.

Neshek, 34, has pitched for Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland and St. Louis. He was 7-2 with a 1.87 ERA for the Cardinals this year, when he struck out 68 in 67 1-3 innings and was picked for his first All-Star game.

"Just having quality guys in the bullpen makes all of our jobs easier," he said.

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