The Athletics announced that right-hander Justin Grimm has been designated for assignment. Right-hander Austin Pruitt’s contract has been selected from Triple-A, and Pruitt will replace Grimm on the active roster.
After signing a minor league contract with the A’s during the winter, Grimm made the Opening Day roster and posted a 4.11 ERA, 15.5% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate over 15 1/3 innings out of Oakland’s bullpen. While an unspectacular stat line, it did represent a big step up for Grimm after he posted a 7.33 ERA over 77 1/3 innings from 2017-2020. Grimm didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2019 or 2021, and in between tossed only 4 2/3 MLB innings with the Brewers in 2020.
Should Grimm clear DFA waivers, he could opt to accept an outright assignment to Triple-A and remain in the Athletics organization. If not, the 33-year-old will hit the open market once more and look for another landing spot in his ninth Major League season. Grimm spent parts of five of those seasons pitching with the Cubs, at times providing some very solid relief out of Chicago’s bullpen, and he was part of the 2016 World Series championship team.
Pruitt was another minor league signing, and he’ll now get another opportunity in the Show after tossing 7 1/3 combined innings with the Astros and Marlins in 2021. A fractured elbow sidelined Pruitt for the entire 2020 season and half of the 2021 season, but he has performed well with Triple-A Las Vegas this year, with a 3.27 ERA and a 20-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 22 frames of relief work.
The A’s might simply see more upside in Pruitt than in Grimm going forward, plus Pruitt also brings some length as a swingman, long reliever, or piggyback starter. Pruitt made 10 starts over his 67 appearances with the Rays from 2017-19.