Jason Grilli Returns to Pirates on a Two Year Deal

Jason Grilli Returns to Pirates on a Two Year Deal

Ken Rosenthal reports that Jason Grilli is returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates on a two-year deal, pending a physical.

I assume this time it’s real, unlike last Thursday which was full of “he’s signing”, followed by Grilli denying each report. I only assume this one is real because Rosenthal wasn’t involved in the reporting last Thursday, but was providing the best updates on the situation leading up to that date.

I think the question to ask now is “what happens with Joel Hanrahan?”

UPDATE 4:00 PM: If there was any doubt this time, several other writers are confirming the deal. No financial details yet.

UPDATE 4:03 PM: Bob Nightengale reports that Grilli turned down more money from another team to stay with the Pirates.

Danny Knobler with the same information.

UPDATE 4:41 PM: Grilli gets $7 M over two years.

UPDATE 4:53 PM: Bill Brink has the exact figure.

UPDATE 5:16 PM: Two interesting notes from Bob Nightengale on the negotiations.

So in the span of less than a year we’ve seen the Yankees salary dump A.J. Burnett to the Pirates, the Pirates out-bid the Yankees for Russell Martin, and Jason Grilli take less to play for the Pirates rather than the Blue Jays. The only word I can think of is “Mayans”.

UPDATE 2:40 P.M. TUESDAY — Terms of the deal for Grilli include a $500K signing bonus, $2.25M in 2013 and $4M in 2013.

Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.

Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide -- a book that features profiles on every prospect in the system. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit. Subscribe today for our full playoff coverage, and all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.
  • IC Bob

    Glad to have him back. I really didn’t expect us to sign him based on our history. Its good to see the Pirates keeping good players when they hit the market. That said it probably puts the final nail in Hannys coffin.

    • whiteAngus

      pop quiz: who was the last pirate free agent, who was any good, that left town without the bucs making an offer?
      (maholm doesnt count)

      • Lee Young

        Barry Bighead?

      • Stephen Brooks

        Better question is who was the last Pirate free agent who was any good?

  • Ecbucs

    Good move. Hoping he has 60 good innings in him each year for the next two seasons.

  • wildarschase

    That’s a nice coup for the Bucs, considering he spurned higher offers. Not usually the case!
    And I agree with Tim’s assessment on another post about the Rays that trading Hanny last year would’ve made more sense when his value was higher. We shouldn’t expect much at this point- Capuano, perhaps, but then what was the point of getting rid of Karstens?
    Still, the Pirates don’t need Grilli and Hanrahan when they have more glaring weaknesses.

    • Lee Young

      Could you have seen the uproar the ‘playoff bound’ Bucs would’ve caused had they traded Hanny?

      Capt Hindsight is ALWAYS right!

      Glad we signed Grilli. Hopefully, ‘in hindsight’ we don’t regret it!

      • jalcorn

        Captain Foresight wanted Hanrahan traded prior to 2012. That was the time to do it when closers netted Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick from the Sox.

        • whiteAngus

          you mean Lowrie the oft injured SS who might not stick at SS, and Reddick the busted prospect that the Sox gave up on???

          theres no reason to believe Reddick would have put up those numbers as a Buc.

      • wildarschase

        Capt. Hindsight is always right, you’re correct! But trying to trade him in August – just to see what kind of claim might have been made and offer thereafter – could have been worth it, since the Bucs were out of it by then.

        • Lee Young

          And do you know that they didn’t try it?

          I read where they put everyone but Cutch on waivers.

          • wildarschase

            Fair enough, Lee. Maybe the return wasn’t to their liking?

    • NorCal Buc

      The Whiners would’ve screamed, and still be screamin’, were Hanny traded in a pennant race for…untested but talented young pitcher. Are ya kiddin’ me (say w/brooklyn accent!!

  • John Dreker

    I’ll wait to see what they do with Hanrahan before I judge the signing of Grilli. If all they get is some marginal starter for Hanrahan, then I think they downgraded the team with the move. The reason I say that is because they could’ve just kept him and signed a marginal starter for what it presumably cost to get Grilli. Then it will just end up looking like a money saving move.
    While I don’t like paying a closer $7mil, in certain situations I see no problem doing it once in awhile. I’d still rather they kept them both for now and signed a decent starter. Let’s not forget that their draft budget dropped $12mil this past season from the year before, so the money should be there. Why not make a run at it while Burnett/Wandy are still here, instead of doing the minimum in the off-season.
    If it doesn’t work out, then you dump guys at the trading deadline to save the money. When you wait until the deadline, you’re going four months of the season with a “weaker” group, possibly costing yourself crucial games early on. I’d rather they tried their best to compete for four months, rather than putting the best group out there later on. We have seen the last two years how that can work out.
    They also already have an in-season addition lined up for this year that won’t cost them a thing and could be better than most trade targets, Gerrit Cole.
    If the team competes all year, then the extra fans will cover the extra cost. So keep them both, go sign a starter is basically what I’m getting at, I see no reason why they can’t do that…I can only see presumed reasons why they won’t

    • Lee Young

      sounds like there will be arguments for all sides of the Hanny dilemma.


    • whiteAngus

      what if cole bombs his first real go around in AAA? what if Locke cant translate to the majors? what if McPherson’s shoulder goes out again???

      point is this: you can never have enough starting pitching. if Hanrahan brings you back someone like Capuano, i would definately consider it.

      • Lee Young

        Good points….but pls, in the footure, don’t scare with statements like that.


      • NorCal Buc

        NO. Trade Hanny to get a guy like Arrieta from the Orioles (young with upside and MANY years of contract control)

  • Fred Langford

    I usually agree with you WA but I have issues with Capuano. He is almost 35 and has had 2 TJS surgeries. If we cant get at least one very good pitching prospect with him I dont like the idea of Hanrahan for him. I think we can do better.

    • Lee Young

      That means his arm is only 23!


    • piratemike

      Why would anybody trade for Hanny? All they have to do is wait for the Pirates to cut him and then sign him for what he is really worth. The Pirates can’t afford 11mm for Hanny and Grilli.

  • piratemike

    I don’t trust either Hanny or Grilli. I would have rather have the Pirates re-sign Karsten and sign somebody like Capuano I like both Hanny and Grilli but they both could drop off the cliff this year.

    • piratemike

      I was just watching the MLB network.and they were talking about the dodgers signing the Korean pitcher and Grienke for 200mm and I am talking about 3 or so million for a relief pitcher why even bother? How the Hell can anybody compete when you are out spent by 9 or ten times what you can spend. I not an apologist(sp) for Huntington but……. damn……the Gawdam field is so out of wack how the Hell can somebody like the Pirates…. really…….really ……compete.

      • NorCal Buc

        Correct-a-mundo! It’s called “Free Market Corporate Capitalism”. It ain’t meant to be “fair”; it is meant to be “free” for those with the dough……..

        EXCEPT ~ Grienke will NOT be much better than Wandy Rodrigez in 2013, if the past THREE years are any indication. We do not need to spend $165 million for a 15 game winner, #2 starter.

    • Brian Krueger

      Capuano?? Talk about being scared to death! That guy inspires absolutely zero confidence in my opinion.

  • Lee Young

    From Ben N-S at MlbR

    “Grilli’s fastball averaged 93.6 mph this past season, his top velocity since 2007. He generated swinging strikes 14.4% of the time, a career high. Not surprisingly, Grilli’s strikeout rate increased yet again in 2012, when he struck out 90 of the 244 batters he faced.




    • bench player

      They should sign Hanrahan. His value should rise as the season gets underway and other closers either get injured or are not affective.

      • Brian

        Totally agree, he has more value to us right now than on the market.

  • buster09

    pirateMike is right. About the only GM that has anywhere close to a chance of competeing is Andrew Friedman,and that will last only as long as there are chumps like Dayton Moore around.


Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

More in Transactions

(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Lombardozzi, Wall and Morris Declare Free Agency

John DrekerOctober 6, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates Call Up Keon Broxton, Kang Placed on 60-Day DL

John DrekerSeptember 21, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Source: Pirates to Call Up Keon Broxton

Tim WilliamsSeptember 20, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates Notebook: Vance Worley Replaces Radhames Liz

Pete EllisSeptember 15, 2015
(Photo credit: Sean McCool)

Chad Kuhl Promoted to Indianapolis

Tim WilliamsSeptember 15, 2015
Zack Dodson

Minor Moves: Dodson Added to Indianapolis Roster, Gonzalez Added to Altoona

John DrekerSeptember 9, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects