With Craig Kimbrel gone someone has to close the, oh, I dunno, 13 leads the Braves will have this year. That man will be . . .
Jason Grilli, that is. He was great in the ninth for the Pirates in 2013, posting a 2.70 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 74/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. But he lost his job to Mark Melancon in the early part of the 2014 season and was eventually traded to the Angels. He had 12 saves between his two clubs last season.
But really, saves ain’t gonna be a big concern for the Braves this year.
George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner are back together on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal includes a second year option worth $20 million.
Gardner, 36, is coming off of the strongest offensive season of his career, batting .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 74 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases over 550 plate appearances. While he has certainly lost a step or two with age, he still rates as an above-average defensive corner outfielder as well.
As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees also value Gardner — a veteran of 12 seasons — for his leadership, especially with CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius gone.
Bringing Gardner back into the fold allows Giancarlo Stanton to remain the full-time DH. Gardner will return to left field with Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge reprising their roles in center and right, respectively.