What a coincidence. Today is the day that Jason Grilli will apparently choose what team he is going to play for and it’s also his turn in the Roster Watch series.
Grilli has been a machine for the Pirates. He has been a consistent strikeout machine and has had the two best seasons of his career in the black and yellow.
|162 Game Avg.||4||5||4.34||65||3||88||85||45||42||9||39||76||102||1.413||8.7||0.9||4.0||7.8||1.96|
|DET (4 yrs)||8||8||4.31||120||2||171.1||168||88||82||13||70||108||105||1.389||8.8||0.7||3.7||5.7||1.54|
|COL (2 yrs)||3||3||3.68||73||0||80.2||84||35||33||3||44||81||128||1.587||9.4||0.3||4.9||9.0||1.84|
|PIT (2 yrs)||3||7||2.76||92||0||91.1||69||30||28||9||37||127||136||1.161||6.8||0.9||3.6||12.5||3.43|
|FLA (2 yrs)||3||2||5.94||7||6||33.1||41||22||22||6||13||20||73||1.620||11.1||1.6||3.5||5.4||1.54|
|TEX (1 yr)||2||2||4.78||30||0||26.1||21||14||14||2||14||27||98||1.329||7.2||0.7||4.8||9.2||1.93|
|CHW (1 yr)||2||3||7.40||8||8||45.0||52||38||37||11||20||26||64||1.600||10.4||2.2||4.0||5.2||1.30|
|AL (6 yrs)||12||13||4.93||158||10||242.2||241||140||133||26||104||161||93||1.422||8.9||1.0||3.9||6.0||1.55|
|NL (6 yrs)||9||12||3.64||172||6||205.1||194||87||83||18||94||228||116||1.403||8.5||0.8||4.1||10.0||2.43|
Grilli was actually acquired for nothing from the Phillies. He was in their minor league system at the time and if a major league team offered him a contract he was free to sign if the Phillies didn’t add him to the big club. The Pirates signed him, the Phillies refused to bring him up and the rest is history.
The fact of the matter is Grilli has been the best reliever the Pirates have, even better than Joel Hanrahan at times and he is due a pretty big payday. He deserves it based on his results.
What worries me is the fact that he really came out of nowhere to be one of the best strikeout pitchers in the league. His highest K/9 before the 2012 season was 9.7 over a full season. This year he put up 13.8.
That worries me because it’s pretty rare for guys in their mid-30’s to finally hit their stride.
Grilli will likely get multiple years, something the Pirates would seem to be apprehensive about. They aren’t in the habit of giving decent money to relievers over multiple years.
The Pirates have also pretty much decimated one of the best bullpens from the first half of last season. If they trade Hanrahan, which is a very very good possibility, they will need at least someone with a decent track record to anchor the pen.
I’d bring Grilli back if the money is right. I certainly wouldn’t overpay for him, because I think his numbers will drop a bit.
In fact they did last season. Much of his success was in the first half. He was a big culprit in the second half collapse of the bullpen.
Grilli is not a sure thing, though some would have you believe he is. There is ample risk in giving him a multi-year deal, but if you’re willing to eat that second year then go for it. A three year deal should not be considered at all.
Roster Watch: Pedro Alvarez
Roster Watch: Rod Barajas
Roster Watch: Clint Barmes
Roster Watch: A.J. Burnett
Roster Watch: Jeff Clement
Roster Watch: Kevin Correia
Roster Watch: Chase d’Arnaud
Roster Watch: Eric Fryer