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A's Exercise Balfour's Option, Decline Drew's

The A's announced that they exercised their club option for Grant Balfour and declined their side of Stephen Drew's mutual option (Twitter link). Balfour will earn $4.5MM to return to Oakland in 2013. Drew, whose option was valued at $10MM, will hit free agency and obtain a $1.35MM buyout. 

Balfour appeared in 75 games for the A's this past season, spending much of the year as Bob Melvin's closer. The 34-year-old right-hander collected 24 saves, posting 8.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 74 2/3 innings.

Drew, 29, appeared in 39 regular season games for the A's following the midseason trade that sent him from Arizona to Oakland. The shortstop posted a combined batting line of .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances between the two leagues. He projects as one of the top shortstops available in a free agent class that doesn't feature many impact infielders and could even be a fit in Oakland again. Drew will be free to sign with any team starting Saturday.








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