CHICAGO -- The Cubs signed relievers Kevin Gregg and Kameron Loe on Sunday -- Gregg was inked to a Minor League deal and Loe claimed off waivers from Seattle -- though there are no indications at this point that either right-hander was brought on to close games any time soon.
Gregg made 40 appearances with the Orioles last season, the first year since 2006 that he did not record a save. He notched at least 22 in each of the previous five years, with four different teams.
One of those teams was the Cubs, for whom he pitched in 2009, when he went 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA and 23 saves. Gregg will report to the team's Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., after spending the spring with the Dodgers. He posted a 0.82 ERA in 11 Cactus League innings, while striking out five.
Loe has spent all or part of nine Major League seasons with the Rangers, Brewers and Mariners. The 31-year-old is 33-41 with four saves and a 4.44 ERA in 306 career big league appearances, all but 47 in relief. In corresponding moves -- and with second baseman Darwin Barney set to return from the disabled list on Tuesday -- the Cubs placed catcher Steve Clevenger on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left oblique and optioned right-hander Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa.
"They're gonna be be in the mix with some of the decisions we make in the next couple days," manager Dale Sveum said of the additions. "Veteran guys, obviously. Guys that have thrown strikes in the past. I know Kameron Loe from Milwaukee -- great guy. Can get ground ball sinkers. If he gets enough rest, his sinker's always really playable in the big leagues. They'll be in the mix."
The Cubs' closer situation has been in flux all season, with Carlos Marmol being relieved of the duties last week. Kyuji Fujikawa, who closed games in Japan for 12 seasons before signing a two-year contract with the Cubs this winter, took over that role before he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle sprain in his right forearm this weekend.
Sveum has since said he won't automatically go back to Marmol to finish games now. Shawn Camp and James Russell will likely be given the duties, with matchups dictating who pitches.
"Anything could change according to the score of the game and what happens after that fifth inning," Sveum said. "There's a lot of things that can happen, especially when you have two left-handers in the bullpen. We could do this to get out of a jam, we might do [something else] earlier than normal. ... There are just so many things that go into it when you don't have a bona fide closer."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. & This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less