Trade Candidate: Grant Balfour

The Athletics are playing respectably right now, but if the season unfolds as expected and the Rangers and Angels distance themselves from the A's and Mariners by midsummer, Billy Beane will be fielding many calls from rival GMs interested in acquiring his players. Kurt Suzuki, Coco Crisp and Bartolo Colon should prepare themselves for a summer in the rumor mill, but right-hander Grant Balfour may draw the most interest of all.

Some teams are already short on relief pitching and their need will only intensify by the time the July 31st trade deadline approaches. Balfour will be an appealing commodity since he’s affordable, effective and durable. Affordable, because he'll earn just $4MM in 2012 (his contract includes a $4.5MM club option for 2013 with a $350K buyout). Effective, as demonstrated by his 2.77 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 since 2008. And durable, since he's made at least 50 appearances per season during that same span.

Teams inquired on Balfour this past offseason, and the 34-year-old native of Australia has done nothing to discourage their interest in the early going of the 2012 season (he has a 0.90 ERA in a league-leading nine appearances). Bullpen issues have already surfaced in places such as Boston, Tampa Bay and Anaheim. Even if those pitching staffs recover, other clubs will have interest in Balfour-like pitchers.

It’s unusual for teams to complete significant trades before the amateur draft takes place in June, but the A’s might part with Balfour relatively early if another team offers enough in return. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney called Balfour “the best reliever you could trade for today,” implying he’s available (Twitter link).

If the A’s listen to offers for Balfour now, expect them to demand a significant return — perhaps a controllable player capable of making an impact at the Major League level plus supplementary pieces. If teams balk at the asking price, Beane can simply wait until July when he'll have the chance to obtain value from a team in serious need of relief help.


Leave a Reply

35 Comments on "Trade Candidate: Grant Balfour"


Member
chico65
3 years 2 months ago

Cherington will offer one of his kidneys and Bobby V’s spleen

Member
tomymogo
3 years 2 months ago

The greek god of walks? Billy Beane will be very interested in that, because really Boston has no prospects whatsoever

Member
Ben_Cherington
3 years 2 months ago

Such good insight.  Im not ever sure if we have a minor league system. 

Member
johnsilver
3 years 2 months ago

 I hope Boston steers well clear of Grant “ball-four” have never cared for him since his days as a Tampa Bay Ray and wouldn’t care to see him on the Sox, much less give up much for him and no disrespect intended to Oakland here. He has been an every other year player until the last 2 years and is 34YO.. Let someone else over pay and hold on for Rich Hill, send Bard to the Pen, call up Cook and hold off another month for Matsuzaka.

The situation isn’t nearly as bad as the media is making it out. Just hard choices to make and Valentine needs to stand up like he used to have the backbone to do.. tell the media off and do them.

Guest
3 years 2 months ago

agreed that or bobby v needs to break out the glasses and mustache when hes making decisions from here on out until they start winning lol. 

Member
dc21892
3 years 2 months ago

Boston bound? We need reliable relievers bad. I know it’s still early, but a bullpen this bad usually keeps up all season. Sure, at some point there won’t be 7 run innings being put up but they are having a hard time finding anyone reliable right now.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 2 months ago

With the new CBA and a player having to be on a team a full year for draft-compensation status, I think that might affect relievers trade value some. Especially top tier ones that used to be considered type-a relievers. teams could get a reliever for half a year and then get two picks out of it. 

i hope someone is willing to pay big for balfour and think he’s worth it (being a total homer of course), but i do think the draft compensation might drop his value, even if it means only not getting a really low tier organization filler prospect

Member
melonis_rex
3 years 2 months ago

Balfour isn’t an impending free agent, and his option is a near lock as long as he doesn’t get hurt (And, since Bob Geren isn’t the manager of the A’s anymore, Balfour isn’t going to be run into the ground like Bailey and Wuertz were).

Hopefully, that positively impacts Balfour’s trade value.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 2 months ago

that’s true, i forgot about his option

Guest
3 years 2 months ago

Grant Balfour for Alberto Callaspo?

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 2 months ago

gonna take more than him to get balfour

Member
J.j. Miller
3 years 2 months ago

 im pretty sure 4.5 mill 2013 option for balfour will be picked up, with the A’s or pretty much any other team if he’s traded. He’s been very good as closer which also helps his value. A’s have relievers with good arms but inexperienced so threy might not be in a rush to trade balfour yet. But im sure if a team offered a good 3b/ss prospect it could interest A’s