The Pirates to sign Jason Grilli to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal has the news:

I was told by a very knowledgeable source that this was going to go down last Thursday. Aaron posted about it and about a billion people — including Jason Grilli — said I was making stuff up. Whatever. It wasn’t a done deal then and it is now, so kudos to Rosenthal for getting it, but this should not be a surprise. I should totally take Rick Reilly credit for this.

As for the signing: in two years with the Pirates he threw 91 innings with a 2.76 ERA and 127 strikeouts, making for a remarkable career rejuvenation. Assuming the money isn’t insane — and multiple reporters are saying that he passed up better money from other teams to stay with Pittsburgh — it’s a good signing for the Pirates.

UPDATE: The deal is a quite reasonable $6.75 million over the two years.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves