Tampa Bay is always looking for cheap bullpen options with upside and their latest scrap-heap pickup is Ernesto Frieri, signing the former Angels closer to a one-year deal worth $800,000 in guaranteed money and another $2.35 million in potential incentives.
Frieri was a mess this season, getting traded by the Angels and then released by the Pirates on the way to posting a 7.34 ERA in 42 innings.
However, his 48/14 K/BB ratio remained strong and from 2010-2013 he threw 229 innings with a 2.79 ERA and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings. It’s possible that Frieri went from top-notch reliever to totally washed up in one year, but for $800,000 it certainly makes sense for the Rays to find out if the pre-2014 version can be resurrected.
In a column on CBS New York, Sweeney Murti writes that free agent reliever Jason Grilli is a potential bullpen option for the Yankees, especially if they are unable to bring back closer David Robertson. Grilli is local, as he grew up in South Orange, New Jersey and went to college at Seton Hall University.
Grilli, 38, had a career resurgence with the Pirates between 2011-13, but tapered off this past season. The Pirates sent him to the Angels at the end of June in exchange for Ernesto Frieri. Between the two teams, Grilli posted a 4.00 ERA with a 57/21 K/BB ratio in 54 innings.
ESPN’s Andrew Marchand writes that Robertson is expected to fetch a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of Jonathan Papelbon’s four-year, $50 million deal.
Right-hander Donn Roach has been claimed off waivers by the Cubs after being designated for assignment by the Padres last week.
Roach was the Angels’ third-round draft pick in 2010 and got traded to the Padres in 2012 along with Alexi Amarista for Ernesto Frieri.
At the time he was considered a decent prospect, but Roach is now 25 years old and has a 3.95 ERA with just 126 strikeouts in 237 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He also posted an ugly 17/15 K/BB ratio in his 30-inning debut for the Padres this season.