New York Yankees Rumors: Yankees Interested In Jason Grilli


Earlier this off-season, Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY reported that David Robertson wants “Jonathan Papelbon money”, meaning a four-year deal worth $50 million. On Saturday, Marchand followed up his earlier report, stating that many executives believe that Robertson will get the deal he’s looking for. Could this mean that his Yankees career is over? 

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Sweeny Murti of CBS New York also reported that if the Yankees lose Robertson that they’ll be looking at other relief options and specifically mentions Jason Grilli as someone that the team has had discussions about.

Since joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, Grilli has seen his career take off. He put up a 2.48 ERA in 28 games (32.2 innings pitched) that year along with a 1.19 WHIP and a 10.2 K/9 rate. It was a good start, but the next two seasons would be even better.

In 2012, Grilli pitched in 64 games (58.2 innings) and posted a 2.91 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and a 13.8 K/9 rate (90 strikeouts). His performance was good enough that he was named the teams closer in 2013.

In his first year as closer, Grilli was solid. He saved 33 games while pitching to a 2.70 ERA, a 1.97 FIP, and a 1.06 WHIP while striking out 74 batters in 50 innings pitched. He also made his first ever All-Star appearance.

2014 was a much different story. Grilli got off to a slow start in Pittsburgh, posting a 4.87 ERA and a 1.623 WHIP in 22 games (20.1 innings pitched.) On June 27th he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Ernesto Frieri.

Once he got to Los Angeles he improved. In 40 games (33.2 innings pitched) he put together a 3.48 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, a 2.15 FIP, and a 9.6 K/9 rate. He may have just needed a change of scenery.

Though he’s 38-years-old, Grilli could still be a good low-risk, high-reward pickup for the Yankees. He still throws hard. His fastball had an average velocity of 92.9 MPH this past season while topping out at 95.4 MPH. His slider is also solid as opposing batters hit only .212 against it.

Could the Yankees turn to Grilli as an alternative? We’ll find out soon enough.