As expected, Pittsburgh Pirates’ free agent reliever Jason Grilli is drawing plenty of interest early on in the free agency period, which could be very bad news for the Bucs.
Grilli’s agent Gary Sheffield said that said eight teams are interested in his client and three of them have already made offers. MLBTR reported that one of those teams was the Boston Red Sox and that Grilli is in no hurry to make a decision.
“We’re not in a hurry,” Sheffield said. “There are some things we want to look at a little further. We’re not sure the market has fully developed for Jason.”
It’s no surprise that Grilli is in demand after posting a 2.91 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 90 strikeouts over 58.2 innings this season.
However all of the competition for Grilli likely takes the Pirates out of the running, and it is unknown if the Bucs are one of the eight teams for his services.
It would be nice to see Grilli return, not only for his stellar performance on the mound, but he’s a guy that really enjoys being in Pittsburgh. Plus the Pirates organization really gave him the chance to revitalize his career, after almost being out of opportunities.
Then there is the fact that closer Joel Hanrahan could likely be dealt before the season begins so having Grilli around could help ease the load.
But that’s not how things work.
Grilli would be wise to capitalize on his success and seek a multi-year deal, which he is all but certain to receive. With that being the case, the Pirates would likely be smart to move on. The veteran right-hander is 36 years old and it doesn’t make much sense for a team like the Bucs to sink big dollars on a multi-year commitment for a pitcher of Grilli’s age, especially since there is no guarantee that he repeats what he did a season ago.
It will be sad to see Grilli move on, but I believe we have seen the last of him in a Pirates uniform.