The Braves will sign free agent reliever Jason Frasor, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. The Royals recently released the 37-year-old righty, who drew fairly wide interest upon hitting the market.
Frasor worked to a 1.54 ERA in his 23 1/3 innings on the season, and his fastball velocity is even up a shade over last year, but his bottom-line results were not quite supported by the peripherals. He walked 15 batters (against 18 strikeouts) over that span. And ERA estimators were down on his contributions, with SIERA valuing those innings at a decidedly negative 4.71 mark.
Of course, Frasor has had better overall numbers in the not-so-distant past. He was outstanding down the stretch and in the postseason for the Royals last year, and ended the 2014 campaign with a 2.66 ERA and 8.8 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 to go with a 46.9% groundball rate.
Atlanta has experienced rather pronounced struggles in its pen this year, and currently carries the league’s second-worst bullpen ERA (just ahead of the Coors Field-challenged Rockies). And the second-half outlook is even worse, now that the team’s best reliever — closer Jason Grilli, who had been outstanding — is shelved for the season.
Frasor won’t replace, Grilli, of course, but he will offer some promise of quality innings for a shallow pen. It’s not a move intended to push the team over the top, but it does improve the outlook at a minimal cost: the remainder of the league minimum annual salary, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
The addition will also provide the organization with flexibility in managing its younger arms. And it doesn’t hurt, of course, that Frasor fits the sturdy veteran mold that John Hart & Co. have relied upon in building out their roster.