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Jason Grilli, Pirates agree to terms

The Pirates will keep their setup man for the next two years.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

After what seemed like weeks of hedging, Jason Grilli is coming back to the Bucs. Ken Rosenthal reports -- and other sources are confirming -- that setup man Grilli has agreed to a two-year deal to return to the Pirates.

This is a helpful move, in that it covers what had been a patchy Pirates bullpen, but we'll have to see the financial terms, which have not yet been released. It's worth remembering that the Pirates acquired Grilli himself for practically free less than two years ago. Relievers are fungible, and their performance tends to vary wildly from season to season. At age 36, there's no reason to think Grilli is immune from that, even though he was fantastic last season.

Anyway, the Pirates may trade Joel Hanrahan, who is set to earn about $7 million in his last year before becoming a free agent. The signing of Grilli allows the Pirates to consider that possibility a bit more strongly.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.