CINCINNATI -- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has been in search of bullpen help this offseason. He added a veteran piece Saturday by signing Burke Badenhop to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2016.
The Reds also signed righthander Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract with an invitation to the Major League camp, but the signing of Badenhop, a native of Perrysburg who went to Bowling Green State University and turns 32 years old on Sunday, provides an experienced arm who can bridge the middle and late innings as the Reds try to get the ball to closer Aroldis Chapman.
The Reds traded Jonathan Broxton, who had been the main setup man ahead of Chapman, to Milwaukee last August. The bullpen's 4.11 ERA was next-to-last in the National League last season. Manager Bryan Price has repeatedly voiced his confidence that Sam LeCure and J.J. Hoover can bounce back from down seasons but the Reds will look at as many arms as possible to rectify their bullpen issues.
Badenhop is coming off his most productive season in a seven-year career. He appeared in 70 games for Boston with a 2.29 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He allowed just one home run in 289 batters faced and had a career-best 1.59 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.
Lefthander Ismael Guillon was designated for assignment to make room for Badenhop on the 40-man roster.
Gregg has saved 177 games in his career, including 33 games two years ago with the Chicago Cubs. Gregg pitched in just 12 games last season with Miami before undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
Reds pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Ariz., for the start of spring training on Feb. 18.