The much-maligned Grilli has seemingly been on thin ice for the better part of two seasons, but has managed to hang on to his job with stretches of solid pitching from time to time. With Francisco Cruceta dominating at Triple-A, the Tigers had to clear room for him to further solidfy their bullpen.
The common rationale had the Tigers using Zach Miner's final option to send him to Toledo, but with this move, that will not be necessary. Grilli had posted an 0-1 record and 3.29 ERA so far this season, despite walking over 4.5 batters per nine innings. Cruceta is expected to be a drastic improvement by any standard; having given up just one run in seven innings of work since obtaining his visa, and striking out fifteen in that span.
In exchange for Grilli, the Tigers obtained 23-year old right-hander Zach Simons. Simons was a second round pick of the Rockies in 2005, but has yet to live up to that lofty potential. So far this season, pitching for High-A Modesto, Zach had posted a 2.70 ERA in seven relief appearances; striking out 14 over 13-1/3 innings of work.
As the fallout from this deal fades, Grilli will report directly to Colorado, Cruceta is expected to join the Tigers in New York tomorrow, and Simons will report to High-A Lakeland to continue his development.