Blue Jays officially exercise option on Grilli

Blue Jays officially exercise option on Grilli

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays got their offseason started on Saturday afternoon by exercising the team option on reliever Jason Grilli's contract for the 2017 season.

Toronto will pay Grilli $3 million next season after it declined to use the $250,000 buyout on his deal. The move previously had been announced by the club in October, but it did not become official until after the World Series.

Grilli joined the Blue Jays at the end of May in a trade with the Braves. He went on to post a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings while filling a key setup role to closer Roberto Osuna. Grilli, a 14-year veteran, has a career 4.09 ERA with 646 strikeouts over 644 2/3 innings.

Osuna and Grilli will return to the bullpen next year, but the rest of Toronto's relief corps remains in flux. Rule 5 Draft pick Joe Biagini is expected to transition to a starting role in 2017, while lefty Brett Cecil entered free agency earlier this week.

Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes and Matt Dermody are among the internal candidates for the bullpen, but the Blue Jays are expected to make at least a couple of additions in the coming months.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.