With the MLB Free Agency period already underway, the Philadelphia Phillies have yet to make any big noises unlike their past couple of off seasons. One of their biggest flaws in 2012 was the ineffectiveness of their bullpen late in game, which in turn was one of the reasons that the Phillies missed the post season for the first time since 2006.
The Phillies have tried to fill their bullpen over the years with veterans who know what it is like to pitch in big game situations, but most of these players did not succeed. Last off season, the Phillies signed veteran reliever Chad Qualls to a one-year deal worth $1.15 million. That deal did not work out so well as the Phillies traded Qualls to the New York Yankees after posting a 4.60 ERA in 35 appearances.
This off season, General Manager Ruben Amaro has some work cut out for himself. Amaro not only needs to fix a shaky and rather inconsistent outfield, but he also needs to sign a third baseman and construct a productive bullpen. One name comes to mind thinking about a veteran right-hander with some success in the major leagues, and that is Jason Grilli. Last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Grilli was phenomenal for a 35-year old. Despite having a 1-6 record, he had a 2.91 ERA and a good walk-to-strikeout ratio. In fact, the past two seasons have been very successful for Grilli.
Since 2011, Grilli has appeared in 92 games for the Pirates and has a combined record of 3-7 with an ERA of 2.76. These numbers may not stand out given the fact that he played in Pittsburgh, but Grilli may be able to be productive for a Phillies’ bullpen that is dying for some leadership at its back end. Amaro should really take a chance on Grilli, it could be one of the biggest under the radar signings of the 2012 off season.
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