Pirates send Jason Grilli to Angels for Ernesto Frieri

MLB: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt closer Jason Grilli to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

The Pirates received right-hander Ernesto Frieri in return.

Grilli and Frieri both have 11 saves this season.  Frieri, 28, has a 6.39 ERA.

Jason has responded well to a series of challenges in his life,” said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. “He had a good run here. He loves the city and the team, but he is ready for a new challenge.”

“In our case, we acquire a guy who over the last two years has been outstanding in Pittsburgh, who was an All-Star in 2013, and as dominant as any closer in the league at the halfway point last year who has been a little topsy-turvy at the start of this year, ” said Angels GM Jerry Dipoto.

Grilli, 36, was replaced by Mark Melancon last Friday after blowing four of his 15 save opportunities. A National League All-Star last season, Grilli signed a two-year, $6.75 million deal as a free agent prior to the 2013 season.

Frieri notched 37 saves in 41 chances last season for the Angels.  He is not signed beyond this season.

“Ernesto is a guy we’ve pursued for a couple of years and haven’t been able to get him,” Huntington said. “He’s going through a rough stretch now, but there’s a lot of things there that we like. He has quality stuff, a good strikeout rate — he isn’t the ground-ball guy we typically look to acquire, but induces soft contact.

“We feel like we’ve had some guys like this in the past who, with a change of leagues and scenery, can come in here and do a nice job.”

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