Braves Sign Jason Grilli, A.J. Pierzynski

Troy Tulowitzki did not appear under the Christmas tree in Flushing. However, the Atlanta Braves have agreed to deals with reliever Jason Grilli and catcher A.J. Pierzynski. There were a few other transactions over the past few days, as well.

Grilli gets two years, $7.75M; the Braves have an option for a third year. He and also-recently-acquired Jim Johnson will likely team up to fill the roles left behind by Anthony Varvaro and Jordan Walden.

Pierzynski gets one year, $2M. The trade was originally scooped via a conversation in a ham store. The plan is for the veteran catcher to back up and mentor Christian Bethancourt, while man-beast Evan Gattis replaces Justin Upton in left field. If Bethancourt isn’t up to snuff, it’s possible that Pierzynski and Gattis spend more time behind the plate.

In other NL East news, the Nationals have signed Dan Uggla and Heath Bell to minor-league contracts and invited them to spring training. These deals would appear to be shots in the dark / paint thrown at the wall / low-risk, high-reward. Though, if both players wind up making the Nats and flourshing, I’ll start to wonder if DC is the new Bronx.

Roger Bernadina has signed a minor league contract with the Rockies. Strange move for both sides, as the Rox currently have a full outfield. However, perhaps they are looking to trade from their surplus, and like the idea of having Bernadina around for depth.

The Orioles have signed Delmon Young to one year, $2.25M. Here’s a crazy revelation: Young is not yet 30 years of age. Seems like he’s been around forever, right? Baltimore also claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who has now been passed from the Red Sox to Dodgers to Cubs to O’s in a matter of 18 days. Remember when we discussed the possibility of the Mets trading R.A. Dickey to the Bosox for Lavarnway, among others?

Hiroki Kuroda has returned to Japan.

I think that’s all, for now. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. david December 29, 2014 at 6:19 am
    Kuroda leaving hurts the Yankees, more than people realise.

    Braves have been active, proof will be in the pudding. Personally I am happy Heyward is out of the division.

    Thoughts on Uggla? I did not realise the Nats needed another 2nd baseman.

    When Hubie Brooks was dealt he was clearly one of the top every day players on that team. Can you imagine this management ever having the guts to do aomething similar?