The Texas Rangers have acquired relief pitcher Jason Grilli from the Toronto Blue Jays for Eduard Pinto, per John Blake on Twitter. The Rangers are also getting cash considerations, which is presumably the Jays paying the bulk of Grilli’s $3M salary for this year. To make room on the 40 man roster for Grilli, the Rangers have designated reliever Preston Claiborne for assignment.
The addition of Grilli, who is supposed to be activated tomorrow, means the Rangers will have to make two 25 man roster moves, as Martin Perez is also expected to be activated tomorrow. Grilli, 40, has a 6.97 ERA and a 7.88 FIP this season in 20.2 IP, and was designated for assignment by the Jays last week.
While the Rangers no doubt hope Grilli will rebound, Evan Grant suggests the Rangers mainly want Grilli to provide a stabilizing veteran presence in a very inexperienced bullpen. Jeff Banister was in Pittsburgh with Grilli for several years, and has a familiarity with Grilli, who is considered to be a positive clubhouse influence. Grilli was also with the Rangers in 2009, when the club acquired him in June of that season from the Rockies.
Claiborne was signed as a minor league free agent this offseason, and was briefly called up in June to the majors. He will have to be waived, traded or released in the next ten days.
Pinto, 22, is a small left fielder who has a nice hit tool, but who has been considered something of a fringe prospect due to his lack of defensive versatility and power projection. Pinto was hitting .311/.358/.446 for Down East this year.