The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Angels swapped their struggling closers earlier this year, hoping to strike a win-win deal in which both guys benefited from a fresh start and a chance of scenery.
That has worked out splendidly for the Angels and Jason Grilli. For Ernesto Frieri and the Pirates, however, things never got off the runway. On Friday the Pirates finally decided that they had no choice but to designate Frieri for assignment.
That does not technically spell the end of Frieri’s tenure in Pittsburgh, but it sure seems unlikely that he would ever pitch for the Pirates again. Rob Biertempfel reports the decision and the team’s corresponding move:
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) August 8, 2014
Frieri pitched in 14 games for the Pirates and posted a most unfortunate 10.13 ERA. He surrendered 12 earned runs and posted a 1.78 WHIP. He was nothing short of disastrous, and no matter how much patience the Pirates wanted to exercise, they simply could not afford it any longer given their tenuous position in the National League playoff race.
Alvarez returns to the team from the bereavement list. He is batting .234/.321/.401 this season.
As for Grilli and the Angels, the former Pittsburgh closer has a 2.76 ERA in 19 appearances on his new team. He has paired with Huston Street to form quite the improvement in the L.A. bullpen as they continue to chase the Oakland Athletics in the AL West.
When this deal was made it was hard to project which team might have the better half of it. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they have decidedly ended up on the losing end of the deal.