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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.

  • Dustin

    I think the Cubs would love to move him, but he has a no trade clause. They have to find the team he would be willing to go to and also work out who we get back in return. A lot has to match up.

  • AD

    I highly doubt it and do not know whether it would be a great move for the Cubs, but it looks like they could be a fall back option for Michael Bourn.

  • DarthHater

    And Jason Grilli gets his 15-minutes of being the most talked about player in MLB. *yawn*

    • When the Music’s Over

      Agreed. Pretty sad off-season when one of the most talked about potential Cubs free agent additions is a 36 year old middle reliever.

      • When the Music’s Over

        ….and a soon to be 29 year old journeyman starting/platton (what should be bench) OF addition with very underwhelming career stats.

  • Dustin

    So Youk has one-year and $12MM offer from Yanks and He has two-year offers from others in the $16-18MM range

    Could one be the Cubs??

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    id like to see the cubs do a two yr 20m for youk…..then a 1 yr 1.5 for stewart..nice bench guy great defense, and if rzzo needs a break youk goes to first stewart at b, and this would work well in interleague games too, youk could be dh while ian plays 3b…

    cf-dejesus
    ss-castro
    1b-rizzo
    3b-youk.
    lf-Sori..if not dealt
    rf-sherholz/sappelt
    c- castillo
    2b- barney

  • Curt

    it’s going to be a long year, when someone like grilli gets this much attention, who knows who’s on 3rd and who knows how thd of shakes out , maybe there’s a big surprise we don’t know about yet , we can only hope.

    • OlderStyle

      “…who knows who’s on 3rd…” – no, he’s on first. I don’t know’s on third. -ba da bing.(sorry, I’m just dealing with offseason blues.)

      • Dustin S

        Part of me hopes I’m wrong and dreams that they go on the spending spree of the century and sign Hamilton, Bourn, Dempster (amazed people still think that one is possible), Youk…then we trade for Holland..and then we really start picking up guys. But then I wake up and hit the snooze button.

        ALL I really hope is that the Ricketts are putting all this extra money from them mailing in 2013 into Wrigley, the facilities (minor and major), scouting, banking for 2014-15 FA signings, etc.

  • Mike

    I hope the Cubs sign Placido Polanco or trade for versatile infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio from Toronto.

    • TWC

      Polanco has had 5 straight years of decline across practically every category, and his last two years are remarkably poor. .270/.320/.330? Barf.

      I hope the Cubs … trade for versatile infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio

      I hope the Cubs trade for Mike Trout.

      • gutshot5820

        i noticed you habitually like to quote people followed by a snarky comment. You must be the life of the party in real life.

        • TWC

          You must be the life of the party in real life.

          Shit yeah.

          • Cubbie Blues

            larf

          • DarthHater

            You mean this isn’t real life? Damn!

  • Njriv

    I am officially on the signing Youk bandwagon.

  • Carne Harris

    Jon Heyman loses credibility with every tweet.

  • Believe in 2015

    Whatever happened to the Dempster talks?

  • North Side Irish

    Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
    Ian Stewart signing a deal to return to #cubs, according to sources. Details not yet available.

  • rbreeze

    Is the wait for Gilli really necessary?

    • DarthHater

      ‘Twas Grilli, and the lukewarm stoves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
      All mimsy were the Boras quotes,
      And the trolls’ wrath outraged.

  • Njriv

    I miss Paul Maholm,,,

    • USS

      I liked Maholm too. But you have to look at what we got in return. I think the trade was very well thought out and fans will be pleased in the near future.

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