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11/11/1976 (40 y, 3 m, 13 d)
2003 Rule 5 Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 13, Overall: 13, Team: Chicago White Sox
$8.2M / 2 Years (2015 - 2016) + 1 Option Years
The Jays exercised the team option on Grilli's contract for the 2017 season, Greg Chisholm of MLB.com reports. (11/8/2016)
Blue Jays-Indians, Game 4 Notes
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
MASH Report (7/13/15)
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
Bullpen Report: April 5, 2015
Colin Zarzycki (RotoGraphs)
Jason Grilli Signs with Atlanta for Two Years, Sor»
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
The Completely Rebuilt, Win-Now Angels Bullpen
Mike Petriello (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
When targeting relievers, fantasy owners must certainly prize saves, but should be equally concerned with securing strikeouts and a low WHIP. With that in mind, Grilli proved to be an elite reliever for much of the season before succumbing to a forearm injury. His 13.32 strikeouts per nine ranked third among qualified relievers, and his 1.06 WHIP was better than average. Everything seemed like it would continue without a hiccup. An overpowering fastball-slider combination resulted in a 14.5% swinging-strike rate, which was eighth-best in the league. A forearm injury, however, short-circuited the projections. His velocity dropped noticeably after he returned from the disabled list in September, and the elite strikeout rate crumbled to a mere 9.39 K/9 in the final month of the season. That's not to suggest an offseason of rehab won't allow the right-hander to return in 2014 at full strength. Instead, it hints the forearm injury could be a harbinger of further arm troubles, or at least of a permanent velocity decline. At 36 years old, that's a legitimate possibility for Grilli. And if he begins the 2014 season much like his final month of the season, his value won't be as lofty. Wise fantasy owners will exercise caution, especially since a competitive Pirates squad won't hesitate to hand the ninth inning to Mark Melancon if Grilli cannot fully bounce back from his injury. (JP Breen)
The Quick Opinion:
Grilli dazzled fantasy owners in 2013, posting a stellar 2.70 ERA (1.97 FIP) with 33 saves. He also proved to be an elite source of strikeouts for a reliever. However, a forearm injury and later velocity issues have muddied his true value heading into the 2014 season.
Jason Grilli was a journeyman reliever until his age-35 season in 2012 with Pittsburgh. As someone who had always struggled with command and hard contact, the key for Grilli was a major boost in his velocity and then strikeout percentage, which sat close to an astounding 37% in 2012 and 2013. Well, the K% dropped back to where it was before, and those other problems are still there. Add in a second trip to the disabled list, his age (now 38), and the fact that he just signed with the team that has Craig Kimbrel as their closer, and Grilli's days as a closer sure look numbered. Besides Kimbrel, though, there isn't much else in the Braves bullpen, and as long as Grilli doesn't implode -- it's not like he was completely terrible in 2014 -- he could be in line for a number of holds in Atlanta. (
The Quick Opinion:
After two dominant strikeout-fueled seasons in Pittsburgh, Jason Grilli's late-career revival came crashing to a halt with a second trip to the disabled list in as many seasons that cost him is job. He still might serve an important role in the Atlanta bullpen, but as long as Craig Kimbrel is still on the team, Grilli is limited to holds rather than saves.
Prior to being felled with the Achilles injury in July, Grilli was making an argument that he should be in the mix when it comes to any discussion about top-ten relievers. For 2015 anyway. His 25.0% strikeout minus walk rate was tenth in the majors amongst relievers, one notch ahead of the man who was closing games for the Braves until he was dealt to the Padres on Opening Day Eve, Craig Kimbrel. No one is suggesting that Grilli is better than Kimbrel, but that points to what he’s capable of putting together. He found the top ten in another category, as he was tenth in reach rate with a sturdy 38.5%. He works up and away to lefties, and down and away to righties, employing a fastball-slider combo that sports an 11 mph velocity difference. His velocity on both pitches dropped a tick as the season went on, and he certainly benefited from a 5.0% home run per fly ball rate, but if he’s available late, don’t be shy about grabbing him. Arodys Vizcaino filled in capably for him, but it would behoove the Braves to keep Vizcaino’s saves numbers down for arbitration purposes. Taking the Braves projected sub-par offense into consideration, and not foreseeing a ton of leads to protect, Grilli could still get you 20+ saves and some strong ratios before the Braves jettison him to a contender to finish out the last year of his contract. (Darren Schienbein)
The Quick Opinion:
Jason Grilli was clipping along with 24 saves in 2015 until he ruptured his Achilles just before the All-Star break. He’ll head into 2016 as the front-runner to be the Braves closer, and he’s on track to be fully recovered for Spring Training. He’s an intriguing buy-low candidate, as the numbers he put up in the first half of 2015 placed him in the upper echelon of relievers. Sure, he’s 39, coming off a major injury, and projected to close for a team that could struggle to win 70 games, but that’s part of the intrigue!
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Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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