The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the official signing of free agent pitcher Jason Grilli to a two-year contract through the 2014 season. The announcement was made by Senior Vice President, General Manager Neal Huntington.
The 36-year-old Grilli established career highs in appearances (64) and strikeouts (90) while spending the entire 2012 season with Pittsburgh. He also posted a career-best 2.91 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .207 batting average. The righthander ranked seventh among National League relief pitchers in strikeouts and fourth with a 13.81 strikeout/per 9.0ip ratio behind Craig Kimbrel (16.66), Aroldis Chapman (15.32) and Antonio Bastardo (14.02).
Grilli, who was charged with a run in just 15 of his 64 games and struck out at least one batter in 56 of the 64, set a club record for a relief pitcher by striking out at least one batter in each of his first 19 appearances thru May 25. Following the season, the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, voted Grilli as the winner of the Chuck Tanner Award - an award that recognizes the player who is most cooperative with the media.
The Pirates signed Grilli as a free agent on July 21, 2011, and he has posted a 2.76 ERA (91.1ip/28er) and 127 strikeouts in 92 appearances with the club over the last two seasons.
Selected by San Francisco in the first round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft (fourth pick overall), Grilli made his Major League debut with the Florida Marlins in 2000 and has made 330 career appearances during his 10 seasons in the big leagues. He made two scoreless appearances in the World Series with Detroit in 2006 and pitched for Team Italy during the World Baseball Classics in 2006 and 2009.