Remember Jason Grilli? Of course you do.
Once upon a time, he was a maddening reliever for the Tigers — most notable, of course, were those 12 consecutive balls he chucked out of the bullpen in Game 4 of the 2006 American League Championship Series.
A year-and-a-half later, he was traded from Detroit to Colorado, but still couldn’t escape the wrath of Tigers fans. With the Rockies visiting Comerica Park in June 2008, Grilli’s number was called — and during his jog from the bullpen to the mound, he was relentlessly showered with one of the loudest chorus of boos you’ll hear during a regular-season game.
When Tigers fans pick out their whipping boy, they usually show no mercy.
But these are better times for Grilli, 36, who was born in Royal Oak, while his father, Steve, was pitching for the Tigers.
The right-hander was dynamite out of the Pirates bullpen in 2012, with a 2.91 ERA, 1.142 and a staggering 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
It was, by a mile, the best season of his 10-year major league career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s a free agent now, and set up for a very nice payday — heck, even a multiple-year contract — as one of the best available options at middle relief.
Reports circulating today suggest he has multiple offers, and some for multiple years, and is expected to make his decision shortly, likely before teams start heading home from the winter meetings in Nashville tomorrow.
Interesting note on Grilli, by the way. His agent is Gary Sheffield, his former teammate with the Tigers.