Blue Jays get Jason Grilli in trade with Braves for Canadian pitching prospect | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Blue Jays get Jason Grilli in trade with Braves for Canadian pitching prospect

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli celebrates getting the final out of the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Grilli was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP,Gene J. Puskar
May 31, 2016 - 5:16 PM

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays continue to stockpile arms for their bullpen.

Right-handed pitcher Jason Grilli was acquired by the Blue Jays on Tuesday night in a trade with the Braves, with Canadian pitching prospect Sean Ratcliffe being sent to Atlanta in exchange.

"We've been looking for help from the day I got here, to complement our team" said Toronto general manager Ross Atkins, who was hired by the team on Dec. 3. "There's a lot that we like about Jason and how he complements this team. The first thing that comes to mind is experience. He's been on winning teams and very high-level situations."

The 39-year-old Grilli has appeared in 21 games for the Braves this season, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.29 earned-run average and two saves.

He has 71 saves since 2013 and earned an all-star selection in 2013, when he had a career-high 33 saves. A veteran of 14 major league seasons, Grilli owns a record of 26-38 with a 4.12 ERA in 503 games, limiting opponents to a .249 average. Significantly, he has 588 career strikeouts.

"He gets a ton of swing and miss, has got a lot of swing and miss in his career," said Atkins. "Those are good attributes for someone in the bullpen. We'll see how it pans out here. Obviously, Joe (Biagini) and Roberto (Osuna) have been very good at the back so, I think he'll complement us well.

"The biggest thing that stands out is the professionalism and experience he's had."

The deal comes a day after the Blue Jays recalled reliever Ryan Tepera from triple-A Buffalo to add some depth to a beleaguered bullpen that has been worn down and battled injuries all season.

Grilli is no stranger to injury, having ruptured his left Achilles tendon on July 11 while fielding a groundball. He missed the rest of last season before returning to play for the Braves this spring. Atkins noted Grilli's play was improving over his 21 appearances this year.

Toronto also gets US$2,175,000 from Atlanta, offsetting much of the $2,371,585 remaining after Tuesday of Grilli's $3.5 million salary this year. His deal includes a $3 million team option for 2017 with a $250,000 buyout.

Atkins said that the cash considerations were a big part of the trade.

"We need to stay flexible and we need to make sure we can continue to add to this team," said Atkins in the press box of Rogers Centre as the Blue Jays hosted the New York Yankees.

Atkins said that Grilli should be available to play on Wednesday in Toronto's final in a three-game series with New York. He also added that left-handed reliever Brett Cecil has resumed throwing after a left triceps strain and that he could be ready to pitch again soon.

Ratcliffe, from Ajax, Ont., was an 18th round selection by the Blue Jays in 2013. The 21 year old has a 4-5 record with a 5.92 ERA in 41 games over his three professional seasons, most recently at Class-A Vancouver.

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With files from The Associated Press

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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