Pirates, Grilli agree to two-year deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to bring back free-agent relief pitcher Jason Grilli on a two-year deal. Grilli gets $6.75 million total in the deal.

Grilli, 36, a journeyman through much of his career, but he has flourished in Pittsburgh. He missed all of 2010 due to a knee injury and spent half the 2011 season in Triple-A before the Phillies released him. Grilli then signed with the Pirates and had a 2.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings the rest of the way.

Last season, Grilli had a 2.91 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. Since joining the Pirates, Grilli has inherited 25 baserunners and allowed only two of them to score -- an excellent 92 percent strand rate.

Grilli is slated to be the Pirates' top setup man in front of closer Joel Hanrahan at this point. But if Hanrahan is traded -- and there are rumors he might be -- Grilli is likely in line to be the Pirates' closer.

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