Pirates finalizing deal with Jason Grilli

The Pirates are close to finalizing a deal to add right-hander Jason Grilli to the bullpen. No official announcement will come until after Grilli, 34, passes a physical.

Though Pirates  manager Clint Hurdle said he would hold any comments on the topic until after the signing is official, he noted that Grilli is someone the club has been eyeing.

“We have interest,” Hurdle said. “We have made a call on a number of people. I think what we’re also letting people know is that we’re not going to sit back and listen to the tremendous astronomical asks that are being presented to us for some of the other personnel we’ve made contact on.

“We’re going to be creative, and we’ve talked about a number of guys who are in the Minor Leagues trying to find their way back with some Major League experience. He would fall into that category.”

News of the acquisition was actually released by Grilli, who, shortly after midnight, tweeted: “Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Black & Yellow! Cannot wait to join the new squadron.” Grilli has since followed that up with a tweet that links to an article about the Pirates.

Grilli did not pitch in 2010 due to right knee surgery and signed a Minor League deal with the Phillies this winter. That contract included an out clause that Grilli could trigger on June 1, but the right-hander was on the disabled list at that time.

Grilli returned to the mound later that month and has continued to do well for Triple-A Lehigh Valley since. In 28 games this season, Grilli has a 1.98 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. He has limited opponents to a .217 batting average.

— Jenifer Langosch

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