Grilli discusses return to Pirates

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Jason Grilli's decision to re-sign with the Pirates was re-affirmed Wednesday on the way to the ballpark.

"I told the cab driver, just rolling up over the Clemente Bridge and going around the corner, I said, this is my office space," Grilli said today, the day he and the Pirates made his two-year contract official. "This is how I do my best work. There's sometimes not enough money that can be a good tradeoff to being comfortable and to know what to expect."

Grilli, the 36-year-old righty reliever who became an ace setup man in 2012, agreed to a two-year, $6.75 million contract with the Pirates, opting to return to Pittsburgh rather than accept offers from other teams. He mentioned of comfort and an excitement at the direction the team is headed as reasons for his return.

"I've been on 10 different teams," Grilli said. "The grass is never always greener. It's really all the same. There's just something fitting here. It's just a baseball town an dit bugs me as much as it bugs everybody else in this city. They want this so bad."

Grilli's return raised questions regarding the future of Joel Hanrahan, who is eligible for arbitration for the final time and will reach free agency after the 2013 season. General manager Neal Huntington said he would be comfortable taking Hanrahan through the arbitration process and starting the season with both he and Grilli on the roster.

"They were a dynamic pair at the back end of the bullpen last year and if that's our best team, absolutely," Huntington said.

"We fully believe that whether it's with Joel or without Joel, Jason's going to be an important part of our late-inning closing out games that we're supposed to close out."

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Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG


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