Source: Braves sign reliever Jason Grilli
Atlanta added more depth to its bullpen on Tuesday, according to MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal, who cited a source in his announcement that 38-year-old reliever Jason Grilli had signed with the Braves.
Source: Jason Grilli to #Braves.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 24, 2014
The deal will keep the right-handed pitcher in Atlanta for two years, with the Braves holding a club option for a third, according to Rosenthal.
Grilli made 22 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season as their closer before losing that job on Jun. 20. Seven days later he was dealt to the Anaheim Angels for Ernesto Frieri. Grilli pitched in a total of 62 games in 2014 and hurled 54 innings while allowing 51 hits and striking out 57. His combined ERA was 4.00, but he did better with the Angels (3.48) than with the Pirates (4.87).
Just one year removed from his All-Star season, Grilli notched 33 saves in 2013 and struck out 74 batters in 50 innings of work.
Grilli is the second 30-plus-year-old pitcher the Braves have signed this offseason with closing experience. Jim Johnson, who had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013, was added to the roster on Dec. 3.
With Craig Kimbrel entrenched as the team’s closer, Grilli should slide in as the main setup option. If Johnson can regain his form from two seasons ago (Johnson posted a 7.09 ERA in 54 games last year), he’ll be added to a very formidable bevy of relievers used in the seventh and eight inning of games. With Grilli added to the likes of David Carpenter, Shae Simmons and Johnson, scoring on Atlanta in the late innings could be extremely difficult.