Jason Grilli’s Mr. 10%

Thought the Winter Meetings were pretty much over, didn’t you?

Me too.

But there are still rumours swirling, even as the Jays contingent in Nashville makes its way home. Among others reporting it, Ken Rosenthal lays this one on us:

MLBTR is following this story, and it’s evolved from “Grilli will stay in Pittsburgh if no one adds the third year” this morning, to now it definitely being a two year deal, with all three teams still in. Anecdotally, there seems to be more chatter about Grilli returning to the Pirates than coming to the Jays right now, but this it a move that entirely makes sense to me– and not because it would free the Jays up to trade someone.

I wrote about the Jays bullpen yesterday, and made the point that I don’t think it’s quite the position of strength that people seem to believe it is– certainly not without Darren Oliver, Jason Frasor and Brandon Lyon.

Sure, Sergio Santos “feels unbelievable,” according to Alex Anthopoulos, but even with a healthy Santos, beyond him and an entrenched Casey Janssen– who had a reportedly-minor shoulder procedure this off-season– it’s a hard-throwing group with a lot of talent and upside, but nothing close to a relief corps. that ought to turn up its nose at the possible addition of a guy like Grilli.

I remember ragging on Grilli when he was a mediocre middle relief guy with the Tigers five years ago, but something funny sure has happened since then– he’s started getting really good. Granted, it’s been in the National League, but he seems like it’s possible that his late-career could be following a Darren Oliver-like arc. Can you say White Magic?

Obviously with relievers we’re looking at inherently small sample sizes– just a shade below 60 innings in 2012– but boy… they were some pretty fantastic innings: 2.91 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 2.68 xFIP, 36.9 K% (13.8 K/9) and just a 9.0 BB%– both of which were career highs, as was the 14.4% swinging strikes he generated. And according to the data on his FanGraphs page, he was throwing his fastball as hard as ever in 2012.

Seems like exactly the kind of guy Anthopoulos covets.

So… there’s that.

There’s also this:

So… uh… there’s (also) that. But also: BANG. Refuted:

So… there’s that. And probably still more to come.

Like this, for example:

Welp, that’s official enough for me.

So… there’s that.

Except… ugh, it seems like the Heym-dog was just reading Craiggers:

The long wait, I suppose, continues.

So… you know.

Comments (82)

  1. But there’s also this:

    @Tom_Singer: Grilli:” I have not made a decision. I don’t know where all these reports are coming from, bit it’s not helping me one bit.”

    (A Pirates beat writer from like five minutes ago.)

    Still, I doubt there’s anything to this. Interesting afternoon distraction though.

  2. first!

    how about koji? how the fuck did boston land him for only 1 year? the guy has a whip of 0.6 that is insane, alex should have gone after him instead. looks like farrell isout for revenge

    • Didn’t he refuse to come here last year when AA was trying to trade for him? I think I remember that, but I’m not sure.

    • He didn’t want to play here. The Jays had a trade for him last year and he used his no-trade to block it.

      • but that was last year when the jays sucked. apparently players now want to come here. and why would you choose boston when they clearly will suck. you’re telling me koji couldn’t get a better offer?

        • It’s about geography. Also: stop.

        • I dont know if we should be pulling out the Boston will suck comments quite yet. Napoli, Victorino, Pedroia, Middlebrooks, Ellsbury, Lester, Buchholz, and the other players they have plus whoever they slap together to fill the ranks could prove to be a decent team even if their manager is a half wit moron that couldnt manage his way out of a no name ziplock bag.

          Not saying they look great by any means but I use the Astros as the example of suck these days and the Bosox look like they could be better than that.

          This will be one hell of a fun division to watch this year thats forsure.

          • don’t forget the sox also hired this era’s version of earl weaver as manager this year

      • and he just signed in boston


    • lets just pen that one up on a non-ultra-competative looking roster shall we?

    • They need a lot more than Koji to get their bullpen to rival the Jays.

      And we have 2 (maybe even 3 or 4) starters better than the Red Sox opening day pitcher.

      And we’re clearly stronger at 5 of 9 positions with a couple being a toss up.

      Massholes upped their payroll by over $30 millIon in the past 2 weeks and still have a lot of work to do.

      • The correct term is THEY, not WE,,, for the record. But you make some good points.

      • One could argue we have no pitchers better than their 2012 Opening Day starter. Lester was quite good coming into this past season, and before injuries, so was Bucholz. Boston will be right there for a long part of the season people.

        • Not saying they’ll be awful. They have a pretty good team with time and money to make it better. A Greinke or Hamilton signing changes things pretty quickly.

          More pointing out how far the Jays have come and how strong this team really could be.

        • Jon Lester last 2 years FIP, 3.83, 4.11
          Clay Buccholz last 2 years FIP 4.65, 4.34

          Brandon Morrow last 2 years FIP 3.65, 3.64
          John Johnson last 2 years FIP 2.64, 3.40
          Mark Buerhle last 2 years FIP 3.98, 4.18

          so to sum up, you couldn’t be more wrong

        • suck my brown veiny meat you red sox lover!!! the red sox suck, dont you ever forget that!!! now get under your bed and think about what you said!!!

    • And while his WHIP is godly it seems like a disproportionately large percentage of his hits allowed are massive moonshots. 16% of his carreer hits allowed were home runs, his ground ball percentage is abysmally bad and he will get dragged over the coals playing more regularly at yankee stadium.

      TL;DR Cano and Grandy will give him fits

  3. Heyman just tweeted this:

    The long wait is over. Pirates re-sign grilli. #sheffield

  4. I’ll always remember you, hour I cared about Jason Grilli.

    • +2.5

    • Grilli was as good as Casey Janssen last year.

      • Janssen was much better. Doesn’t matter which fancy new stat you use, Janssen was better in every way.
        Better when you look at the “old” stats too.
        So… there’s that.
        Don’t lie to us, man. Not cool.

        • Hey not so fast, you’re 1000% wrong, but thanks for the confidence, and thanks for making me have to waste my time to explain to you how you are an idiot.

          Grilli struck out guys at a way better rate, more swinging strikes, better FIP and xFIP and SIERA. fWAR 1.1, rWAR 0.8

          Yes, Janssen had a better ERA, more saves, fewer walks and about five more innings. fWAR 1.2, rWAR 1.8.

          “Much better”? Hardly.

          • you’re digging deep Stoets.
            the walk rate alone is enough to say Janssen is a much better pitcher.
            “as good as?”. Hardly, dude.

      • Not disagreeing with that at all. I just mean surely none of us thought about Grilli much before today, and if he signs with the Cubs or Pirates, likely never will again.

      • Yeah, he was slightly more effective over five fewer innings so I agree with you, Stoeten.

        However, Janssen’s overall track record is obviously a lot better and he’s about five years and two months younger too. Plus, you know, the high socks and the funny mannerisms on the mound.

        So… there’s that.

  5. Forgot Heyman’s an idiot, he just tweeted this:

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
    sorry, false alarm. grilli denied hed made up his mind for sure he is going to pirates

  6. Grilli would be a great veteran addition to an already pretty good looking pen. Apparently the Giants are out and the Pirates have an offer that he is luke warm about and so according to the rumour that leaves the Jays and the Cubs lol… not really much of a decision to make there.

    I would personally really like to see him in the Jays pen this season.

  7. Grilli set to re-sign with the Pirates

  8. Jon Heyman, why you no think before type?

  9. wilner doesn’t understand how AA can sign somebody while on a plane. it’s called fax

  10. I don’t trust NL players. remember that other NL pitcher we got from pittsburgh who was putting up nasty numbers?

    • Do you also remember when AJ Burnett came from the NL? Maybe you could remember all the other pitchers that have come from the NL to the AL to put up great numbers.

      I wouldnt be giving up on Lincoln just yet, he has great stuff, a change in city, league, division and life in general isnt easy on a pitcher especially coming to the best division in baseball. Give him time to settle in a bit, I think he’s going to turn some heads this year.

      • you mean like randy johnson?

        colby rasmus settled in nicely didn’t he?

        • Dan Haren settled in just fine to the AL, not too mention your judging Lincoln on like a 26 inning sample or so that he got in with the jays last year. I don’t understand your colby rasmus comparison he’s not a pitcher…overall I don’t understand you in general.

          • He is a troll. He comes on here with cherry picked stats to start arguments with people. I wouldn’t put too much stock into what he posts.

    • The fact that you don’t remember Brad Lincoln’s name immediately causes me to ignore your comment.

  11. I’m still trying to get over learning Gary Sheffield is an agent.

    • I’m actually not that surprised. Everytime he signed a contract during his playing days, he always complained after about getting another extension.

  12. Grilli was absolutely awful before 2011. Not sure I trust him. AA has an obsession with picking up players that were shit at one point and turned it around.

  13. There wouldn’t be much laughter at the Winter Meetings without Heyman being around.

  14. Also, this could very well be sheffield using the jays to raise the price for his client. We all know agents do that with the jays. Thought I would mention that.

  15. Grilli and Chef…. the perfect meal

  16. Alderson supposedly has one “acceptable” deal for Dickey and Dickey supposedly is looking for a 2 year $26 million extension.


    Could that acceptable deal be centred around tentative opening day starter JPA?

    Alderson seems to want to resolve the situation quickly, though it makes sense for Greinke and some second tier starters to sign before moving Dickey, imo.

    • Pretty obvious negotiating strategy to get one of the other contenders to up their bid

      • Make since if our division was in play or even our league. But why the fuck would we care what the Pirates, Giants and Cubs pay for anyone.

        • No, I meant from the Mets. If you’re a potential bidder on Dickey and you believe that the Mets are close to an agreement with someone else, you may be more likely to increase your bid to beat them to it.

    • After seeing what the Phillies gave up for Ben Revere I think we can get Dickey for Rasmus and a Sp prospect, unless there’s an extension then throw in a Aj Jiminez. Because it’s starting to be clear to me that yes Sp is in high demand and the price is high especially after a cy young, but so is the Cf market. No idea where the Hell Mr Bourne signs now, the Reds?

  17. IF (big if) Black Magic comes back, then our bullpen is fine the way it is.

    Black Magic.

    Who’s got a better 7th, 8th, 9th than that?

  18. I’ve said since this season was that I hope they resign Brandon Lyon to stabilize that bullpen even if Oliver returns. Lyon was very good and if Lyon doesn’t return we basically traded 3 top 15 prospects to the Astros for J.A. Happ. Which is fine if he can start and finish the year in the starting rotation, which I don’t see. Happ hasn’t been anything special in the national league. I do like the strikeouts this season and with his stuff he needs them.

    • Lyon is going to get his ass PAID

      and I just dont see AA being a part of it

    • No matter what we do we will have traded 3 prospects (not all top 15 mind you) for Happ. Signing Lyon as a free agent really provides minimal amount of benefit to trade, since the Jays would have been able to do that now anyway, seeing as he is still on the market today.

  19. No frasor please he’s terrible

  20. Is Grilli really what the Jays need? I see him more as a nice to have, assuming that Janssen and Santos are healthy enough to pitch the 8th and 9th innings.

    If Oliver retires, or is traded, the Jays will have Loup (who killed lefties mind you) and Cecil (even better numbers against lefties from the BP in 2012) as their primary LOOGY’s. I wouldn’t mind seeing AA picking up another lefty before spring training rolls around.

    I think that Esmil Rogers also makes Frasor sort of redundant. Would prefer to see Lyon retained as a FA, but likely, AA doesn’t want to pay Lyon’s asking price.

  21. Is there any real data to show that pitching in the AL is harder than the NL? I know facing pitchers has to help… I’d assume that shows through in some of the stats. But do we have stats of like “combined ERA of pitchers who went NL to AL vs combined ERA of those that went AL to NL”?

    • You’re kinda thinking about it wrong. Even ignoring talent discrepancies and the relative paucity of powerhouse lineups in the NL, the fact is that simply having to pitch to a DH rather than a pitcher (and a bunch of PHs) will make it that much harder to pitch in the AL.

      So… If the AL (as a league) has a higher OPS (or wOBA or wRC+ or whatever you like) than the NL, than by definition, AL hitters must be getting those hits off of somebody.

      Then consider that AL hitters face other AL pitching for the vast majority of the schedule, then yes, clearly, pitchers (on average) will get hit more in the AL than the NL. Not because they become automatically sucky in the AL, but because of who they’re facing.

      On an individual level, you are correct, that there are pitchers who will thrive/survive in the AL coming from the NL, but on the whole, AL hitters (who are better, combining 1 through 9, than NL hitters) are going to do more damage against anyone. On the whole, that fact might be the difference for a group of pitchers, moving them from average in the NL to below-average in the AL, or perhaps, above-average (NL) to just average (AL).

      You see?

  22. for the last fucking time… I’M DONE!!!
    we’re gonna roll through April and May, start to fall apart in June (as usual), and then I’ll make a season-saving trade that pushes us into the post-season.
    be patient.

    • i will tell you when you are done!!!! just allow me a minute to remove my pants and blow my magic curry dust fart into your face……..pffffffrt!!!!! you will tell oliver to shit or get off the fucking pot….relievers are signing every day and you will get stuck signing someone like….someone shitty, now go, you are done!!!

  23. Interesting trade that Revere for Worley – looks like Bourn has to wait to get paid.

    Trades like this are the reason you don’t need to show your cards. Both Span and Revere gone, 2 leadoff type hitters, both look like good controllable assets and both players you never would have expected to see traded.

    Imagine Gose in one-2 years, if he can up his average, his trade value could be pretty good, to trade for young controllable pitcher or solid prospect much like those deals. This is why I’d hesitate to do any JPA and Gose deal.

    I’m not sure if Rasmus brings in as much in trade value because most teams were looking for leadoff hitting guys with speed and avg which Rasmus clearly doesnt fit the mold for. Seems like too many other good options for the LF/RF in free agency that even then Rasmus wouldn’t get as much as one would think.

    • edit: to clarify, why I’d hesitate to do any JPA plus Gose for Dickey deal – thats what Im referring to

      I’m open to trading JPA, by all means, but I dont think it would be wise to package Gose in jany trade ust yet

      • correctamundo sir dildonious of baglady applebobbings, Gose has too much upside to trade just yet

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