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Jason Grilli Rumors
10:15am: Pirates GM Neal Huntington commented on Grilli to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch: "We are aware Jason has been released to pursue a Major League opportunity. We are interested and optimistic, but conversations continue." Langosch says the Pirates are expected to announce the deal tonight or Thursday, and Grilli just needs to pass his physical.
7:12am: The Pirates appear to have landed righty reliever Jason Grilli, based on the pitcher's tweet: "Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Cannot wait to join the new squadron."
Grilli, 34, has a 1.93 ERA, 11.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 in 32 2/3 innings for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate this year. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday that the Phillies were on the clock, as Grilli had an out clause that allowed him to take a Major League offer from another team if the Phils didn't promote him within three days of that offer. Grilli adds depth for the Pirates, who Rosenthal believes are also seeking "an established eighth-inning reliever."
The Pirates are in first place, but manager Clint Hurdle realizes his team hasn't won anything of substance yet. "They don’t break a trophy in half and give it to you on July 19," he told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch (Twitter link). Here's the latest from Pittsburgh:
- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick explains how the Pirates ascended to the top of the NL Central and repeats that the Pirates have checked out Hunter Pence, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham, Conor Jackson and other available bats in their search for offensive help.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio that he's looking to add a position player, a starting pitcher or a reliever (Twitter link). The Pirates have interest in Koji Uehara and others. For a look at what other teams are seeking, click here.
- Jason Grilli, who is pitching for Philadelphia's Triple-A team, will be in the big leagues within a few days, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 34-year-old has received at least one Major League offer, which means the Phillies have to promote him or let him leave as a free agent. Grilli has drawn interest from Pittsburgh now that he appears to have recovered from the right knee operation that sidelined him in 2010.
Right-hander Jason Grilli announced on his Twitter account that he's "FIRED UP about the City of Brotherly Love," possibly indicating that he's agreed to sign with the Phillies. We heard that the team was interested in signing him just yesterday.
Grilli, 34, last pitched in the big leagues in 2009. He posted a 5.32 ERA in 45 2/3 innings with the Rockies and Rangers. He struck out an impressive 9.7 K/9, but walked 5.3 BB/9. He agreed to a minor league pact with the Indians last year, but he missed the entire season with a quad injury. The fourth overall pick in the 1997 draft, Grilli has worked exclusively in relief since 2005.
Grilli, a right-hander, last pitched for the Rangers in 2009. He signed a minor-league deal with the Indians prior to last season before suffering a knee injury that cost him all of the 2010 campaign.
Grilli's best season in the Majors (3.00 ERA) came in 2008, when he split time with the Tigers and Rockies. For his career, he has a 4.74 ERA over 356 2/3 innings.
Grilli, 34, is a former first-round pick of the Giants and has pitched for five teams.
4:09pm: The Indians also signed Brian Buscher, Mike Gosling, and Luis Rodriguez to minor league deals, according to a team press release.
Buscher, 29 in April, has a career line of .266/.343/.356 with the Twins, mainly at third base. Gosling, 29, tossed 25 innings for the Indians last year with a 5.04 ERA. He posted a 4.81 ERA in an additional 67.3 Triple A innings. Rodriguez, 29, had a career-high 251 plate appearances with the Padres this year but hit just .202/.319/.260. He's capable of playing all around the infield.
10:59am: The Indians signed reliever Jason Grilli to a minor league deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Grilli will make $800K in the Majors. Grilli first tweeted about the signing on November 23rd, but couldn't reveal the team. The 33-year-old righty posted a 5.32 ERA in 45.6 innings for the Rangers and Rockies this year, whiffing over a batter per inning but battling control and elbow problems. If the Indians are happy with Grilli, they can retain him for 2010 and 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.
THURSDAY, 8:08am: Grilli tweets that he hasn't signed with the Yankees, though he says he'd love to play for them eventually.
MONDAY, 8:38pm: According to Jason Grilli's Twitter account, the well-traveled pitcher has signed with his seventh team.
Grilli tweets, "Well it is official. I am signing with my 7th team. Can you guess? Drum roll please! Will let ya know when I am able."
If, as it appears from Grilli's comment, this is his seventh different team, that rules out the Giants, Marlins, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies and Rangers.
The 33-year-old righthander pitched to a 5.32 ERA in 2009 for the Rockies and Rangers.
3:46pm: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports the Rangers have also taken catcher Kevin Richardson off the 40-man roster, and are trying to sign him to a minor-league contract.
2:39pm: Per Jason Grilli's Twitter page, the Texas Rangers have removed the 32-year-old pitcher from their roster.
Grilli wrote, "My day just got more interesting-as said earlier tweet-A leader can't lead until he knows where he is going-Texas took me off the roster".
Grilli is an interesting buy-low candidate for a number of teams. While his ERA jumped from 3.00 in 2008 to 5.32 in 2009, that is highly deceiving. He posted a Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) ERA of just 3.93 in 2009, and has been under 4 each of the past three seasons.
Grilli has also been roughly as effective against lefties and righties throughout his career, allowing a .271 batting average to righties, .265 to lefties.
If Grilli is to be believed, he'll be in terrific shape for someone in 2010. He wrote on a follow-up tweet, "Gonna be some Rocky Balboa training commence".
Some links for Thursday evening…
- Josh Fields told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he had a "blunt and straightforward" meeting with Ken Williams about his place on the White Sox.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports the White Sox drafted their GM's son, Tyler Williams, and Harold Baines Jr..
- Jason Grilli was recently dealt to the Rangers and now he's working on a deal of his own. According to his Twitter, Grilli plans to exchange "cash or an item to be named later" for number 49.
- Gavin McCourt, the son of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was drafted by the Red Sox. The 39th round pick says Scott Boras wouldn't fit into his "family dynamics," so his dad will represent him, according to the LA Times .
- Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune believes it's time for the Diamondbacks to sell, beginning with Felipe Lopez and Doug Davis.
- And I'll be talking baseball on 590 KFNS in St. Louis tonight at 11pm CST, so tune in if you're in the area. If not, you can always listen online.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan the Rangers acquired pitcher Jason Grilli from the Rockies. He was designated for assignment on Friday after allowing more than two baserunners per frame over the course of 19.1 innings with the Rockies. Grilli, who did strike out 22 batters, was obtained for cash considerations.
The Rangers have been looking for relievers, and while they're likely not finished, this move gives them depth. Yet another reason to follow MLBTR on Twitter: we reported speculation about this move on Twitter yesterday.
While Tampa Bay is still reeling from another loss due to a faulty bullpen, R.J. Anderson of DRaysBay.com has some suggested additions to the beleaguered group.
- Winston Abreu, currently dominating at Triple-A Durham, could simply be called up.
- Jason Grilli, recently designated for assignment by the Rockies, could be had for nothing.
- Joel Hanrahan, recently taken out of the closer's role by Washington, would require a trade.
Considering that Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson and Dan Wheeler all have ERAs of 5.50 or higher, some fresh arms in the Tampa Bay bullpen would certainly be welcome.
Meanwhile, a less-treasured member of a major-league bullpen is Jon Rauch, who had a closed-door meeting with manager A.J. Hinch after Saturday night's game.
Rauch is still only utilized in low-leverage situations, and it seems he's worn out his welcome in Arizona. But his ERA dropped from 9.31 in April to 3.46 in May, and he's pitched two scoreless innings so far in June.
Whether the Rays, desperately seeking saves, and Rauch, America's tallest reliever, get together remains to be seen. No smoke here yet, let alone fire, but this seems like a natural connection to make.