Atlanta Braves sign Jason Grilli to two-year deal
The Atlanta Braves have signed setup man Jason Grilli to a two-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday. He’ll most likely replace Jordan Walden in the bullpen as the setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel (Rosenthal, Dec. 23)
Just what are the Atlanta Braves doing? That seems to be the question this winter around the baseball community. Atlanta dealt way Jason Heyward, the one-time face of the franchise, to the St. Louis Cardinals (ESPN, Nov. 17). They then parted ways with Justin Upton, and his 29 home runs in 2014, trading him to the San Diego Padres (Nightengale, Dec. 19). Atlanta did go out and sign outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year deal, however that came with an array of concerns surrounding his age, health, and the length of years on the contract (Bleacher Report, Dec. 23).
Even an argument can be made about the Grilli signing. He had success with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their closer in 2013, making the All-Star team, with 33 saves. However, Grilli struggled after that, lost his closer’s job, and eventually was dealt to the Angels. At 38 years old, Grilli’s addition to the Braves almost seems counter-productive to what they’re trying to do.
The Braves are clearly in a rebuild mode that may take their fans some getting used to, especially with how they’re going about it.