Breaking: Blue Jays nearing deal for Jason Grilli
The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly agreed to terms on a deal that will see them acquire right-handed relief pitcher Jason Grilli from the Atlanta Braves.
Grilli, now 39 years old and in his 14th major league season, has opened the year with a 5.29 ERA over 17.0 innings with the Braves. He is earning a salary of $3.5 million this season, and has a $3.5 million team option in 2017 with a $250,000 buyout.
His first season with the Braves in 2015 was much stronger, as he saved 24 ball games with a 2.94 ERA over 36 appearances. In July, Grilli ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon and missed the remainder of the season.
Grilli has remained a high-strikeout reliever, averaging 11.9 K/9 since 2011, a number he’s sustained since arriving in Atlanta.
The Blue Jays currently have an eight-man bullpen, so some roster adjustments will need to be made in order to fit Grilli in. While his early-season performance does not inspire a great deal of confidence, his lengthy track record in Major League Baseball allows him to profile as the “veteran presence” that John Gibbons‘ bullpen may have been lacking up to this point.
Sean Ratcliffe, the Ajax, Ontario pitcher going to Atlanta, has a career minor league ERA of 4.91 over three seasons and was likely headed to the Vancouver Canadians for a repeated level in 2016.
We’ll have more details on this deal as it unfolds.