Grilli opened the season in the Blue Jays’ bullpen following a very solid 2016 run in Toronto (after being traded there by the Braves). However, while he posted a 3.64 ERA and 12.4 K/9 in 42 innings with the Blue Jays last year, he limped out of the gates with a 6.97 ERA in his first 20 2/3 innings in 2017. Grilli served up a staggering nine home runs in that time, and the poor showing was enough for the Blue Jays to cut the cord; Grilli was designated for assignment on June 27 and traded to the Rangers less than a week later.
While things have gone marginally better for Grilli over his 18 1/3 innings in Arlington — he’s averaged 11.8 K/9 there to 10.0 in Toronto and yielded a more manageable three homers — the bottom-line results still haven’t been promising. Grilli owns a 5.89 ERA since being traded, and he’s posted a stunningly low 17.3 percent ground-ball rate in Texas.
For all of his struggles, Grilli is still averaging 10.85 K/9 this season and has posted an 11.5 percent swinging-strike rate that falls right in line with the league average among relievers. With a fastball that still averages nearly 93 mph, a healthy strikeout rate and 15 years of big league experience under his belt, Grilli should still draw some interest this offseason, though hey may still have to settle for a minor league deal and the opportunity to prove himself in Spring Training.