The Toronto Blue Jays have traded Jason Grilli to the Texas Rangers for minor league OF, Eduard Pinto
The Toronto Blue Jays will be getting something for Jason Grilli after all. The struggling veteran reliever was designated for assignment recently, putting an end to his time in Toronto. At the time, it was surprising to see the Blue Jays simply letting Grilli go for nothing. One would have thought that there was a team out there desperate for some bullpen help. Apparently, that team is the Texas Rangers.
We've acquired Minor League OF Eduard Pinto from the Texas Rangers for RHP Jason Grilli and cash considerations.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 2, 2017
The struggles of Jason Grilli have been explained already as Jays From the Couch explained why he was struggling so badly. Basically, the answer is that his slider has become the worst pitch of his career…by far. He’s been grooving more pitches than he ever had and his flyballs were turning into home runs more than they ever had.
Because of this, we saw Grilli go from dependable, high leverage reliever to the guy getting passed over in even low leverage spots. Basically, as much as the club like the person, the player was not one they felt comfortable using at any time. Obviously, you can’t keep a roster spot for this kind of player. So, he was designated for assignment. The Blue Jays were able to find a trade partner in the Rangers.
As well as cash, the Blue Jays will be getting 22 yr old Venezuelan outfielder, Eduard Pinto.
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) July 2, 2017
Pinto presents more outfield depth at a young age. He’s a lefty bat that brings a nice on base percentage. He’s a contact hitter, with little power (career ISO: 0.082). According to MLBFarm.com, Pinto puts the ball in play, as evidenced by his career K% of 7.6 and BB% of 7. He’s 5’11” 150 lbs and is best known for his ability to handle the bat.
Whether or not Pinto does anything of note in the Blue Jays system remains to be seen, but this is definitely one of those deals where you’re just trying to get something, as opposed to letting a big league piece go for nothing. The fact that the Blue Jays got a minor league outfielder who hadn’t played above AA could be sign of just how little other teams were willing to give up for Grilli. Or, it could be a sign that Toronto’s front office is trying to add outfield depth to its system. Of course, it could be both of these things, or none of them.
A deal like this allows the Blue Jays to get something for nothing. It allows the Rangers to possibly see another change of scenery turn Grilli’s season around on the cheap.
*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.