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Should Pirates Extend Jason Grilli?

Dejan Kovacevic suggests that the Pirates should extend reliever Jason Grilli, who can be a free agent at the end of the season.

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There's plenty of time, obviously, but it should be a priority. His 72 Ks are among baseball's best, opponents are batting .182 off him. Oh, and the Pirates are 58-1 when leading after seven innings. Even if Grilli's 35, you don't let that walk. He's willing to stay, but the team's got to step up. Once he hits the open market, forget it.

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There's no doubt that Grilli has been fantastic. He's been a rock for the Pirates this year, and a key to their bullpen, in which uncertainty has swirled around him. Even closer Joel Hanrahan hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2011 this year, but Grilli has always been there.

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That said, it's worth remembering how the Pirates acquired him. They signed him last year after he was released by the Phillies. Just over a year ago, he had no value. Suddenly, at 35, he's a great reliever. It's not likely he'll stay that way for long, because reliever performance is highly variable. If the Pirates can sign him to a one- or two-year deal at the right price, great. If they can't, there's another Jason Grilli out there, waiting to be found.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

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