Unless a team is willing to go to three years for the 36-year-old reliever, Peter Gammons reports that we’ve got a decision on the way in 30 minutes on free agent Jason Grilli. The Cubs have been attached to him for days, so it’s unsurprising that they’re on the short list, together with the Blue Jays, Giants and Pirates. On a glance, he could plausibly have closing opportunities with all of the Cubs, Blue Jays and Giants, so there’s no advantage there, and the Pirates are his “home-town” team.

This could go in any direction. Gammons adds that a team can swoop in any minute and get him if they offer three years.

Also: thanks for setting the time at the start of the Rule 5 Draft …

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that Grilli will stick with the Pirates if all of the offers remain two years. So it might be three years or bust. Also, it’s 10:15 and we’re still waiting.

UPDATE 2: So, I now realize that Gammons – who is an East Coaster – must have meant Central Time, since the Meetings are in the Central Time zone. My bust. 10 minutes and counting …

UPDATE 3 (10:26am CT): Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are out, and that it’s going to be a two-year deal. Interestingly, he now doesn’t say anything about it being the Pirates if it’s a two-year deal. Maybe a team upped the money.

UPDATE 4 (10:29am CT): It’s pretty obvious at this point that Grilli’s agent – rookie Gary Sheffield – tried a little gambit to get a team (probably the preferred team, whichever it is) to up their offer with a little manufactured time crunch.

UPDATE 5 (10:58am CT): I think Gary Sheffield is okie doking us all. Jon Heyman just tweeted the following, based presumably on a conversation with Sheffield or a source: “Agent gary sheffield moving in wrong direction: yest was w/i minutes of signing deal (he said). Today, 4 teams involved.” I’m not holding my breath for an announcement any time soon. Tonight? Maybe. Tomorrow? Maybe. Shrug.

UPDATE 6 (11:47am CT): Craig Calcaterra (hooray for former-lawyers-turned-baseball-writers-who-live-in-Columbus) says he spoke with someone who knows, and Grilli is headed back to Pittsburgh. That may well be true, but it makes you wonder what the suspense is all about.

UPDATE 7 (11:51am CT): You knew this was coming … Grilli just told MLB writer Tom Singer “I have not made a decision. I don’t know where all these reports are coming from, bit it’s not helping me one bit.” Winter Meetings zaniness has a little bit of a pulse left.

UPDATE 8 (11:59am CT): This is an almost inconceivable update after that last one *8 minutes* ago, but Jon Heyman reports that Grilli has indeed decided to re-up with Pittsburgh. If true, that was clearly always his preference, he was hoping either to use the Cubs et al to leverage more money out of the Pirates, or was only willing to jump ship for a considerably better deal elsewhere (which wasn’t forthcoming).

UPDATE 9 (12:10am CT): Heyman says he jumped the gun – wasn’t aware of the Grilli comment in Update 7. Kudos for Heyman for the honesty, but I reckon that means he heard it from a very good source. Thus, probably, Grilli hasn’t totally made up his mind yet, but it’s likely to be Pittsburgh when he does.

  • Kyle

    Want want want want want.

    But if someone else goes to three years, I can see passing. Just offer him a few extra million this year. What else are you going to spend it on?

  • leroy

    Uggh. This is going to be a long year. I wish we could hit the simulate button.

    • ssckelley

      Yes, that would be awesome. But program that simulation to pause at the June draft and the trade deadline.

  • ichabod

    3 years on a 36 year old arm, no way, not ever, not me.

    • Kyle

      Especially considering he’s only been good for two.

  • abe

    Why would someone come the cubs over the gaints?

  • Rcleven

    TB’s Laura expected to go first.
    Will Cubs go with lesser of the evils?

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  • mister_rob

    If we sign him, would we be the only team in the league whose two setup men make more than 2/3rds of their starting OF

    • Dustin S

      Lol true. I guess there is an advantage in Rule 5 of being at the bottom of the ladder right now, I don’t think we are going to be losing too many guys. I’d still rather be in our situation than the Marlins’. I’d have to find a new team if I was one of their fans.

      • Kyle

        We lost two last year. I doubt any team ever loses more than that, though the Pirates got lolcornholed like a decade ago when they were really dumb.

        I could see us losing a pitcher or two, but the one we get will be better.

  • MichiganGoat

    Gammons does not believe in the traditional concept of time.

  • Dustin

    Buzz this morning points to the Rangers zeroing in on Greinke and trading for a bat rather than signing Josh Hamilton and trading for an arm

    Maybe, just maybe they go after Soriano in a trade

  • Fastball

    cost of living in Pittsburgh is cheap as compared to these other cities he is looking at. He will stay in Pittsburgh which I must say is an arm pit. I hate people from there. I had a boss from there and if he drowned in his own blood after sliding under a bus that would not be severe enough for me.
    Have fun in PA Grilli ya jag nut.

    • Brian Peters

      That was a darned funny post, Fastball!! I have a few folks in my life who could slide under there with him.

  • MichiganGoat

    Stoopid time zones

  • Njriv

    I hope the Cubs get this guy, but three years is way too much for a reliever who’s already 36. I also hope they sign Chapman back, he showed some potential.

  • Dustin

    Grilli down to #Pirates, #Cubs, #BlueJays. Will be two-year deal. #SFGiants out.

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    From a selfish, mental health standpoint, I’m really glad that the Cubs leave the Winter Meetings with lots left on the “to do” list.

    If they had traded both Soriano and Marmol, picked up a 3B, beefed up the pen and added some SP depth, the Cubs would have essentially completed their offseason work.

    For us in cold weather climates, the thought of facing the next 10 weeks with little or no hot stove news to look forward to would be downright painful.

    Lots of work left to do, and lots of reasons to come back here for a fix.

    Thanks for the good work, Brett.

  • MightyBear

    Hoyer’s losing his hair. Ah the life of a Cubs GM. At least he’s not on a stretcher like Hendry.

  • GDB

    heh – UPDATE 4 – its also possible the Gary Sheffield thought it would be funny to watch hardworking bloggers scramble for information at an imaginary deadline!

  • MightyBear

    No kidding. C’mon just make a decision already. Maybe he meant 10:15 January 31, 2013.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I’m wondering who the Cubs get rid of if they sign Grilli

  • Justin

    So if he chooses Cubs, who is going to get DFA’d?

  • Tim


    • Brian

      It’s now an auction, in the $1 increments.

      • atfinch


  • Fastball

    damnit we are staring down at Armageddon in a week or so. Make a damned decision already. I can’t get any work done flipping to BN every couple minutes. I guess when he finds out the cost of an apartment in Chicago is about 100 times higher than Pittsburgh he will crap his pants and re-sign with the Pirates. I wouldn’t live in that town if it was free. Makes me nervous just thinking about life getting that bad.

  • Justin

    So much for the 10 AM deadline

  • Fastball

    I would think Campana get’s moved off the roster to Iowa. Do it today when everybody is flying home and he slides by waivers unnoticed. Especially after the Rule 5 just taking place teams probably don’t have room for him on their rosters making a claim difficult.

    • MichiganGoat

      But but but he is really really fast and scrappy we can’t DFA him.

  • Dustin

    I’m pretty sure making the $ they make,housing isn’t an issue..or shouldn’t be

  • LoneStarCub

    Any chance the Cubs can pick up Ben Revere from the Twinkies?

  • MightyBear

    The Twinkies are shopping Ben Revere. That’s somebody that fits in the Theo/Jed plan. He needs to work on his obp but he’s pretty solid and only 24 and under control for 3 more years.

    • KidCubbie

      I was just reading the same thing. I think it would be a good pickup. A legit leadoff guy.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Revere is not remotely close to being a legitimate leadoff guy: he’s an out machine.

        • Noah

          Not to say that the Cubs should have given up anything much for Revere, but he also has a ton of speed, is great defensively, and doesn’t strike out. He’s essentially the outfield version of Darwin Barney, but with a lot more value on the base paths.

          With that said, the Phillies picked him up, so he’s off the market.

          The interesting thing to me is that Bourn’s available places to go are now severely limited: Atlanta, Washington and Philadelphia are out. I think he is third on Texas’s list behind Justin Upton and Josh Hamilton.

          While I definitely do not want the Cubs to pick up Bourn on a 5/75 deal similar to what B.J. Upton got, if he gets down into the 4/$52 or 3/$45 million range I’d be more interested (of course so would a lot of other teams).

          • DocPeterWimsey

            You’ve just described a 4th OFer. Here it is plain and simple: Revere lacks the talent to be an everyday OFer. If he plays, then you have to bat him 8th or 9th: speed is irrelevant to leading off, where the list of qualifications begins and ends with OBP.

            I would not rule out the Phils on Bourn. A team with Revere on it still can need as many as 3 starting OFers.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I would say that Revere is almost antithetical to the usual Jed & Theo plan! Little power and a poor batting eye has never been the hallmark of their signings.

      • Cubbie Blues

        My original thoughts were opposite yours DPW, but after looking closer at his stats, you’re correct. 2012 stats wRC+ 88, SLG .342, OBP .333, GB% 66.9 wRAA -9.3. The best stat there is the OBP and that needs to go up. Espeacially with his .325 BABIP.

        • KidCubbie

          Cool. I just saw the stat line they posted from last season. He had a good average and stole like 40 bags.

  • willis

    I’d love to nail this guy down. Would upgrade the pen. And yeah, if it takes a million more, who cares. Not like this team is anywhere near a high payroll.

  • Dustin

    If we sign Grilli, we really could have a solid pen! Which will help BIG time

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I hate it when people call the Twins ( Twinkies) They are a baseball team not a Bankrupt Hostess Treat jeez. This is like nails on the chalkboard annoying for me.

    • TWC

      Seriously? Your handle is “Thundermug” and you have a problem with people using dumb nicknames?

      • DarthHater

        Gee, I think “Thundermug” is cool!

        • TWC

          Depends on what’s in the mug.

          • DarthHater


          • Jack Weiland

            It’s thunder, you fools. Duh.

    • beerhelps

      As bad as “Cubbies”?

      • TWC

        Nothing’s that bad.

  • bwitty

    I can hear Sheffield when he was a child, “I’m going now. I mean it. I’m never coming back. Here I go. I’m leaving. You’ll never see me again. Ok, I’m going now…..”