Reliever Jason Grilli has seen interest intensify in the the past week and the 36 year old closer is closing in on a new deal, his agent confirms.
Grilli is in the process today of trimming down his suitors after as many as eight to ten teams expressed varying levels of interest. Grilli has four firm offers on the table, believed to be multi-year offers, including two opportunities where Grilli would battle for the closers role, an individual close to the situation said. Expectations have been that Grilli would land a 2 year deal in the $6-$7 million range and one industry source said he wouldn’t be surprised if Grilli nabbed a deal in the $8 million range over two years. Grilli posted an excellent 2.76 ERA to go along with 127 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings over the past two seasons with the Pirates. Known teams who have been linked to Grilli include Brewers, Cubs, Mariners, Blue Jays, Giants, Dodgers and the Red Sox.
Is a return to Pittsburgh still possible?
Manager Clint Hurdle has been pushing hard to retain Grilli who was a great fit in the clubhouse and Grilli hasn’t closed the door on Pittsburgh just yet. Grilli’s agent Gary Sheffield confirmed to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com in the 11:00 a.m. hour that he “plans to meet” with Pirates brass “this afternoon”. Grilli who has also arrived in Nashville, will be meeting with a few select teams and he’s also expected to be a part of today’s meeting with Pirates officials.
Pittsburgh to this point has yet to go two years and while Grilli is very gracious of the opportunity Pittsburgh gave him, the Pirates are likely going to have to go two years to stay in the mix. We will find out soon if they do as this is a developing situation. While the team has reluctant, it hasn’t been ruled out I’m told. The Pirates have believed they would be given a last chance to come close to matching any offer for Grilli and that appears to be where things are headed.
If the Pirates step up and sign Grilli, it would be a clear sign that the team is determined to move Joel Hanrahan at some point as those close to the team can’t imagine the Pirates being comfortable paying two relievers around $10 million.