Reports: Jason Grilli Will Decide Between Cubs, Blue Jays, and Pirates Eventually (UPDATES: Probably Pirates)

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.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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