Braves sign reliever Jason Grilli

Jason Grilli is the latest addition to the new-look Braves roster.

The Braves signed free agent reliever Jason Grilli Tuesday. Reports have the contract paying Grilli $4.25 in 2015 and $3.5 in 2016, with a team option for a third season in 2017 at $3 million.

Grilli had an All-Star season in 2013 when he saved 33 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Last season Grilli struggled early on and the Pirates traded him to the Angels for Ernesto Frieri.

After posting a 4.87 ERA and 11 saves in his first 22 games of the season in Pittsburgh, Grilli was much more effective with the Angels. He had 3.48 ERA in 40 games as a setup man with one save. Grilli had 57 strikeouts in 54 innings last season overall, one year after striking out 74 batters in 50 innings during his All-Star campaign.

The Braves see Grilli as a replacement for Jordan Walden, who was traded to the Cardinals in the Jason Heyward deal last month. Grilli will join newly signed reliever Jim Johnson to set up closer Craig Kimbrel in the Atlanta bullpen in 2015.

There has been much speculation all winter that the Braves may be better off trading Kimbrel if they are rebuilding. But the team feels the best way it can compete is with the best closer in the game being on the roster. So it would be a shock if Kimbrel were traded this winter.

The Braves have now signed six free agents this winter: Nick Markakis, Alberto Callaspo, Zoilo Almonte, Dion Toscano, Johnson and now Grilli.

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