Jason Grilli, Relief Pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays, #37
Date of Birth: 11/11/1976
Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan
College: Seton Hall University
Current Salary: $3,000,000
Jason Grilli, relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 1994 but he opted for college instead. Three years later, he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants. He pitched in the Giants' minor league system from 1998 until they traded him to the Miami Marlins in July, 1999. He continued in the minors, joining the Marlins for just one game in 2000 and six games in 2001.
Grilli missed the entire 2002 season due to Tommy John surgery. In December, 2003, he was acquired by the Chicago White Sox. He played in just eight games with the White Sox in 2004 and they released him in January, 2005.
In February, 2005, Grilli was signed by the Detroit Tigers. He pitched in just three games with the Tigers in 2005 but he joined their bullpen in 2006, pitching 62.0 innings in 51 games. The following season, he pitched a career high 79.2 innings in 57 games and he finished the 2007 season with a 4.74 ERA.
After nine games with the Tigers in 2008, they traded him to the Colorado Rockies on April 30th. He finished the 2008 season with a 3.00 ERA in 60 games. He joined his sixth team in June, 2009, when he was acquired by the Texas Rangers. That season, he had a 5.32 ERA in 22 games with the Rockies and 30 games with the Rangers.
In November, 2009, Grilli signed with the Cleveland Indians. However, he never played with the Indians because he missed the entire 2010 season due to a knee injury and surgery. He signed with his eighth team, the Philadelphia Phillies, in January, 2011. They released him on July 20, 2011, and a day later, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Grilli stayed with the Pirates from 2011 through part of 2014. He pitched in 28 games with them in 2011 and 64 games in 2012. After finishing the 2012 season with a 2.91 ERA, he moved up to the closer position in 2013. As the Pirates' closer that season, he pitched 50.0 innings in 54 games and he had 33 saves and a 2.70 ERA.
On June 27, 2014, the Pirates traded Grilli to the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched in 22 games with the Pirates and 40 games with the Angels in 2014. He signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Braves on January 7, 2015. After the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres on April 5, 2015, Grilli became their closer for the 2015 season.
On July 11, 2015, Grilli was injured while covering first base. The injury ended the season for him. In 36 games with the Braves in 2015, he had a 3-4 record, 24 saves, 45 strikeouts to 10 walks, and a 2.94 ERA in 33.2 innings.
Grilli was traded to the Blue Jays on May 31, 2016. He finished the 2016 season with a 4.12 ERA, 7 wins to 6 losses, and 81 strikeouts to 32 walks in 21 games with the Braves and 46 games with the Blue Jays. He pitched 3.2 innings in 5 games in the postseason and he gave up just 1 hit.
On November 4, 2016, the Blue Jays exercised their $3 million club option for Grilli for 2017. He was designated for assignment on June 27, 2017.
Career pitching statistics for Grilli through 2016 include:
- 549 games played
- 644.2 innings pitched
- 32-42 win-loss record
- 78 saves
- 646 strikeouts to 274 walks
- 4.09 ERA