On Thursday, Toronto declined to pick up the club options included in Gregg's contract, sending him to the pool of this offseason's free-agent class. Parting ways with Gregg removes a veteran arm from the back end of the Blue Jays' bullpen, which also could lose both Scott Downs and Jason Frasor this offseason.
The left-handed Downs and right-handed Frasor -- both setup men for Toronto -- are each eligible for free agency as Type A players this offseason. The Jays are expected to offer both pitchers arbitration, though that is unlikely to stop either reliever from testing the open market in search of a guaranteed multiyear contract.
If the 34-year-old Downs and 33-year-old Frasor decline arbitration and sign with a new team, each would be worth a pair of compensation picks in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Should either player accept Toronto's one-year arbitration offer, a contract with the Jays for next season would be non-guaranteed.
Gregg, 32, is eligible for free agency with Type B status (worth one compensatory Draft pick) now that Toronto decided against exercising his option. Gregg's contract gave the Blue Jays the ability to pick up a one-year club option worth $5.25 million or a two-year club option worth $9.5 million for both the 2011 and '12 seasons.
This past season, Gregg established a career best with 37 saves in his first tour with Toronto, which brought him in on a one-year, $2 million contract last winter. The 6-foot-6 righty posted a 3.51 ERA over 63 games, striking out 58 and walking 30 over 59 innings. It marked Gregg's first 30-save season since he collected 32 in 2007 with the Marlins.
The loss of all three veterans would leave right-hander Shawn Camp as the most experienced late-inning reliever in the Blue Jays' bullpen. Left-hander David Purcey and right-hander Casey Janssen, among others, could compete for more prominent roles during Spring Training, but Toronto will likely look to obtain bullpen help this winter.