MLB

Blue Jays acquire veteran reliever Jason Grilli from Braves

The Toronto Blue Jays completed a deal to beef up their bullpen, acquiring 39-year-old pitcher Jason Grilli and cash from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for a minor leaguer.

Toronto's general manager expects 39-year-old to bring experience, professionalism

The Blue Jays have made a trade with the Braves for reliever Jason Grilli, who was drafted fourth overall in 1997 and is set to earn $3.5 million US this season. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

The Toronto Blue Jays have completed a deal aimed at beefing up their bullpen. 

The team confirmed the acquisition of veteran reliever Jason Grilli and cash from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher Sean Ratcliffe.

"We've been looking for help from the day I got here," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Tuesday.

"There's a lot that we like about [Grilli] and how he complements this team. The first thing that comes to mind is experience. He's been on winning teams and very high-level situations."

As part of the deal, Toronto will receive $2,175,000 US from Atlanta, which is nearly 92 per cent of Grilli's remaining salary for this season. His contract includes a $3 million team option for 2017 with a $250,000 buyout. The right-handed pitcher is slated to earn $3.5 million in 2016.

Grilli, 39, was drafted fourth overall in the 1997 MLB amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants. In 21 appearances with the Braves this season, he has a 1-2 record, a 5.29 ERA, a 1.71 WHIP and 23 strikeouts.

"He gets a ton of swing and miss, has got a lot of swing and miss in his career," Atkins said of the veteran, who has 588 career strikeouts.

"Those are good attributes for someone in the bullpen. We'll see how it pans out here ... I think he'll complement us well."​

Heading to Atlanta is Ratcliffe, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher from Ajax, Ont., was most recently playing at the Single-A level with the Vancouver Canadians. 

Atkins said the Blue Jays expect to have Grilli in the lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

With files from The Canadian Press

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