The Rangers acquired right-handed reliever Jason Grilli and cash considerations from the Blue Jays on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Blue Jays will receive minor league outfielder Eduardo Pinto in the trade. In a corresponding move, Texas right-hander Preston Claiborne was designated for assignment to make room for Grilli on the 40-man roster.
Grilli, 40, got off to a rocky start with the Blue Jays this season. He produced a 6.97 ERA through 20 2/3 innings in relief, maintaining a 3.9 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 through 26 outings for the club. While the veteran righty started to show more promise toward the middle of June with three consecutive scoreless appearances, the Jays designated him for assignment after he stumbled to his second blown save against the Royals last month. Grilli could factor into Jeff Banister’s closer-by-committee approach and will be added to the 25-man roster on Monday as the Rangers prepare to host the Red Sox and Angels for a six-game homestand.
Pinto, meanwhile, was stashed in High-A Down East to start the 2017 season. The 22-year-old corner fielder has consistently impressed at the plate in each of the Rangers’ minor league tiers, and slashed .311/.358/.446 with four home runs and an .804 OPS through his first 191 plate appearances this year.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.