In his latest for CBS Sports, Jon Heyman reports that the Braves have had “serious talks” about trading Jason Grilli to a contender. He notes that the Blue Jays and Dodgers are locations that would make sense for the veteran right-hander.
Grilli, 38, entered play Friday having converted the save in 24 of 26 opportunities with a 2.67 ERA and a 45/10 K/BB ratio in 33 2/3 innings. He is owed the remainder of this season’s $4.25 million salary plus $3.5 million in 2016 and a $250,000 buyout for the ’17 season.
The 42-44 Braves sit in third place in the National League East, but wouldn’t necessarily be giving up by trading Grilli. Jim Johnson, currently sitting on a 2.14 ERA, has plenty of closing experience and could easily slide into the closer’s role despite immense struggles last year.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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