Grilli, Frieri meet in airport bathroom hours after trade

Jason Grilli (left) and Ernesto Frieri met for the first time in a restroom hours after being traded.  

Last week, struggling relievers Jason Grilli and Ernesto Frieri were traded for each other in hopes a new setting would revitalize their careers. On Saturday, former Pirate Jason Grilli made the trek from Pittsburgh to Kansas City to meet the Angels, while former Angel Frieri departed KC for his new digs in Pittsburgh.

The two had never met before, so what better place for that first encounter than the men’s restroom at O’Hare Airport?

Both trips called for a layover in Chicago, so when Frieri stopped to freshen up in one of O’Hare’s 100-plus bathrooms, he saw an eerily familiar sight.

"I’m waiting for my next flight, so I just went to a bathroom to wash my face," Frieri told "First thing, I look at this guy washing his hands next to me, and I thought, ‘I think I know this guy.’

"I looked again, and he’s looking at me and goes, ‘Really? Well, I guess this is when we get to meet each other.’ "

The two exchanged pleasantries and wished each other well with their new team.

"I just said, ‘Wish you luck over there, lot of good people, you’ve got a lot of good friends; make the most of it,’" Grilli said. "For me, it was difficult leaving good friends. That’s always the hard part, and it sounded like that’s what it was for him."

Frieri also did his part to help ease the transition, telling Grilli he was headed to a good team in Anaheim with good teammates.

"I knew who he was, but I hadn’t talked to him before," Frieri said. "Kind of funny. Seems like a really nice guy."