Jason Grilli vows to pitch again this season

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Jason Grilli is expected to miss at least 4-8 weeks with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm, potentially knocking him out for the remainder of the season, but the Pirates closer all but guaranteed he’ll pitch again this year.

“I’m going to be ready before the season is out,” Grilli told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “You can mark my word on that.”

Of course, players are almost always optimistic about their return timetables, especially before they even begin the rehab process and find out exactly what’s ahead of them. Grilli not needing surgery is definitely good news, but “you can mark my word on that” just doesn’t mean much yet.

Report: Nationals sign reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal

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Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a third-year option worth $6 million.

Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.

Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.