In an effort to bolster what has been an inconsistent bullpen, the Texas Rangers have traded for veteran reliever Jason Grilli. The Rangers sent minor league outfielder Eduard Pinto and cash to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for the 40-year old righty. To make room for Grilli on the 40-man roster, the Rangers have designated reliever Preston Claiborne for assignment.
Grilli, now in his 15th season, has pitched for eight different franchises in his career, including a stint with the Rangers in 2009. The reliever was acquired by Toronto last season in a mid-season trade with the Atlanta Braves. In 2016, Grilli appeared in 46 ball games out of the Toronto bullpen going 6-4 with a 3.64 ERA. This season has been a different story for the well-traveled reliever. Grilli has struggled to the tune of a 6.97 ERA in 26 relief appearances.
The trade comes two days after Ranger closer Matt Bush blew his fourth save in his last eight tries in an 8-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Following the loss on Friday, Rangers manager Jeff Banister announced that the Rangers would be going to a closer-by-committee approach until further notice.
While the Rangers have not officially announced that Grilli will be a part of the closer committee, it is worth noting that Grilli does have experience as a big league closer. In 2013, Grilli recorded 33 saves for the Pittsburgh Pirates, making his first and only All Star team. Grilli then went on to record 29 saves for the Braves in 2015.
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