Toronto would like to add a veteran arm to the back of its bullpen before the trade deadline and Atlanta's closer might be an option. The Blue Jays are interested in Jason Grilli, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, although the Braves reportedly have not yet made Grilli available.
Although the Blue Jays' bullpen has posted a 3.53 ERA, which ranks 15th in the American League, the club has been seeking an experienced late inning reliever. Jonathan Papelbon and Tyler Clippard were initially on Toronto's radar and the organization has also been linked to Francisco Rodriguez.
At 42-41 and three games behind the American League East-leading Yankees, the Blue Jays are scouting a handful of closers before they plan on making a decision, Cafardo notes. The Braves, on the contrary, are a game under five hundred at 40-41 but are only five games out of first place in the National League East. The Braves have been trying to move Chris Johnson and add depth and might not be open to selling major pieces.
Grilli, 38, has posted a 2.93 ERA and 2.37 FIP over 30.2 innings with the Braves. He has also saved 22 contests and saved 33 with the Pirates in 2013. Grilli is an affordable and experienced closing option who would likely significantly help the Blue Jays' bullpen. If the Braves begin to struggle heading into the All-Star break, they might consider trading Grilli considering their minor league pitching depth.
While Grilli has had a notable amount of success just as Papelbon and Rodriguez have, he might cost less with regard to potential trade chips. Even though the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel and have relied on Grilli to close games, they might not request as much as the Phillies and Brewers, both clubs that are already looking towards 2016.
The Blue Jays will likely add a reliever before the deadline and they could broaden their search and look beyond Papelbon, Rodriguez, and Grilli. But if the Braves are open to dealing Grilli over the next few weeks, the Blue Jays might make a notable offer.