Four Teams Interested In Grant Balfour

Grant Balfour tells Jim Duquette (Twitter link) and Jim Bowden of SiriusXM that he has four teams interested in his services and has "at least" one offer on the table.  Balfour had agreed on a two-year, $15MM deal with the O's before concerns over his shoulder led the club to nix the deal.

Recently, Duquette suggested that the Mariners, White Sox, Yankees and Rays could all make sense for the closer with's Jim Bowden confirming that Tampa Bay has interest.  Meanwhile, Balfour could file a grievance against the Orioles for breaking the pact.

Balfour, who celebrates his 36th birthday on December 30th, turned in a 2.59 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 on his way to a first career All-Star selection. Balfour doesn't have the near-95-mph fastball average that he boasted in his best season with the Rays in 2008, but his 2013 average of 93.4 mph was still solid. The right-hander hasn't had an ERA higher than 2.59 in his last four seasons.

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53 Responses to Four Teams Interested In Grant Balfour Leave a Reply

  1. GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

    Woah, I had no idea he was almost 36!

  2. charles stevens 2 years ago

    Good pitcher. Would be a good fit in Tampa or New York. Hope he files that grievance against Baltimore.

    • nepp 2 years ago

      I hope he does follow through with the grievance and also signs with an AL East club where he bludgeons the Orioles repeatedly for the next couple years.

  3. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Still not happy with my Orioles
    The thing is does it make sense that Jim Duquette (Dan’s Brother) knows anything about what Balfour is doing? I gotta believe Balfour is still upset about what happened in “Charm City” and I hope he files that grievance! He can do something that the fans can’t do! Get under Angelos’s skin with “Bad” Public Relations!

  4. Vmmercan 2 years ago

    Yankees are getting either him or Rodney and a two year deal at least build a bridge past D Rob’s walk year.

    • Anthony 2 years ago

      Why would Rodney sign to NOT close? His asking price has been high and I doubt he would sign a deal to set up for the Yankees.

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        I don’t see it as him signing to set up. And regardless, if he’s signed at closer money, I don’t think it will matter.

    • bernbabybern 2 years ago

      If the alternative is Rodney, then by all means get Balfour. I’d rather shave my b—s with a dull razor than watch Rodney and his act.

  5. marc stankus 2 years ago

    How does NY make sense? It’s setup to be a disaster no matter how good he does, simply because he is NOT #42. Short fences aren’t overly friendly for him either…stop messing with those 4 teams and just go to Detroit and backup Nathan. Big fences and a few MVP’s to hang out with…forget Baltimore

    • not_brooks 2 years ago

      So if Balfour goes to New York and puts up a 40 save season with a 2.50 ERA, it’ll be a disaster because he’s not Rivera…?

  6. tom1998 2 years ago

    Make it happen rick

    • brian310 2 years ago

      I want to participate in Balfour Rage next summer! Haha

  7. MrBigShot 2 years ago

    Do the Yankees have a closer yet? If not, Balfour makes sense for them.

    • BobMarley22 2 years ago

      David Robertson is suppose to be closer

      • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

        What has been said is if there’s no one else who can close on the team he’ll be given the opportunity that’s what the yankees have been saying on that matter.

        • BobMarley22 2 years ago

          They have issues in the infield so they should address that before going out getting a closer. If not than Robertson can close.

          • John Lazzaro 2 years ago

            Guy puts way too many runners on base to be a closer It’s impossible for him to go an inning without throwing 30 pitches

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        That doesn’t sound very good at all! It’s going to be years before the Yanks can find someone like Rivera. They are really gonna hurt in that area for a long time in my mind.

        Anybody to fillin for Rivera is going to be a major disappointment for Yankee Fans.

        • Frittoman626 2 years ago

          Not really, most didn’t complain when they had Soriano as the closer. Obviously losing Rivera is a big blow to since Rivera is the greatest ever, but It’s not like we will hate anyone who closes just because it isn’t Mo. I will miss Rivera as much as any Yankees fan, but I am excited to see if Robertson can finally prove if he will be the closer for years to come. He’s no Rivera, but at the end of the day who is?

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time. No questioning that. But Craig Kimbrel sure is off to an unbelievable start in his career. That 2012 season was arguably the greatest single season any closer has ever had. I could very well see a future where Craig Kimbrel is closing games wearing pinstripes. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

          • nepp 2 years ago

            And if Kimbrel can keep it up for another 15-20 years, he’ll be almost as good as Mo.

            His longevity as not only a good closer but literally one of the best if not the best closer in baseball every single year is why he was so special.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            If Kimbrel keeps it up another 15-20 years he’ll pass Mo as the greatest closer ever. Look at the numbers he’s already piled up. Kimbrel has only pitched 3 full MLB seasons and 21 games in another season in which he wasn’t closer. Here’s his career numbers.

            231 G, 15-7 W-L, 139 SV, 154 SVO, 227 1/3 IP, 123 H, 38 R, 35 ER, 10 HR, 82 BB, 381 SO, 1.39 ERA.

            Even as good as Mo still was at the end of his career, Craig Kimbrel has been the best closer in the majors the last 3 seasons.

            He’s been an AS all 3 of those seasons. He’s finished 9th in the Cy Young in 2011, 5th in 2012 and 4th in 2013. He’s finished 23rd in the MVP in 2011, 8th in 2012 and 11th in 2013. He won ROTY in 2011.

            In 2012 he had the only season in MLB history of a pitcher striking out over half the batters he faced. Oh and he’s still just 25 years old.

            Mariano Rivera’s career ERA+ is 205. That’s the highest of all-time. Kimbrel’s is 282. Just twice in MO’s career did he post an ERA+ over 300 and those were 316 in 2008 and 308 in 2005. Kimbrel’s already got 2 seasons with ERA+ over 300. 399 in 2012 and 320 in 2013.

            The lowest ERA Rivera ever had in a season was 1.38 in 2005. Kimbrel’s ERA the last 2 seasons is 1.01 and 1.21.

            Mo’s lowest WHIP was 0.665 in 2008. Kimbrel in 2012 had a WHIP of 0.654.

            Kimbrel just has to stay healthy and keep doing what he’s been doing for another 15-20 years.

          • MB923 2 years ago

            “Kimbrel just has to stay healthy and keep doing what he’s been doing for another 15-20 years.”

            You’re making it seem as if that’s very simple. It isn’t.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            I never said it was simple. Just disagreeing with that guys assessment that if Kimbrel does what he’s been doing for another 15-20 years that he would only be almost as good as Rivera.

          • MB923 2 years ago

            Agreed. But it’s a long way away. As far as postseason success goes, I can’t see any pitcher topping him. That goes for starters and relievers. He’s ranked 7th all time in Innings Pitched in the postseason, so the sample isn’t small.

  8. Frittoman626 2 years ago

    I want Yankees to sign Balfour, but would he want to be a set up? Robertson is and should be the heir to Rivera, plus making him a closer would entice him to sign. I feel he might leave to find a closers role next season if he isn’t the Yankees closer.

  9. Tim Bliss 2 years ago

    I hope the Rays sign Balfour. Rays could have had around 10 more wins in 2013 had they had a proven closer instead of Fernando Rodney losing games for them. Sign Balfour and keep Price for 1 more year and make 1 last run at the WS before trading Price. If the season doesn’t go to plan you can still trade Price at the deadline and get a solid haul in return. The other thing is that you know Balfour with him having pitched for the Rays before.

    • Gennady 2 years ago

      Considering that the best player in the league doesn’t get you 10 extra wins, you’re suggesting that having Rodney on your team does more damage than having Trout benefits you. Think that one over.

      As for the numbers: 10 games? Really? Rodney had average stats, and blew perhaps 2-3 games more than a good closer. Even if those games weren’t blown, the Ray would not win all of them. I.E. If the Rays had a better closer, they’d probably win 1 extra game. Perhaps 2.

      • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

        Rodney blew more than 2-3 games of the average closer. He blew games that weren’t save opportunities too. I wasn’t looking at WAR. Don’t ask me how WAR is calculated because I don’t have a clue. In my opinion I can go and find around 9 or 10 games in 2013 that the Rays lost but would have won had Rodney pitched better. You’re right that the Rays more than likely wouldn’t have won all those games but Rodney took away any chance the Rays had at winning those games. That’s what I meant by that comment.

        • Gennady 2 years ago

          Forget WAR. Look at Rodney’s number of losses, number of blown saves, his ERA, and HRs allowed. Then go have a look at the same stats of good closers. If he allowed one fewer run per 9 innings, he’d allow 7 fewer runs over the entire season. Yet somehow, those 7 runs turn into 10 extra losses.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            Rodney had 8 blown saves in 2013 and took the loss in 4 games. The Rays were 54-14 in the games Rodney pitched. How much did Rodney contribute to those 14 losses? I’m sure some of those games were just games where Rodney came in to get work so he had absolutely nothing to do with those losses. I didn’t say it was a guaranteed 10 games that the Rays lost because of Rodney. I said it was (in my estimate) around 10 losses. Meaning give or a take a few. 8 blown saves is close enough to 10 to justify what I said

          • DR22 2 years ago

            He was NOT that bad. Several times it wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done. Rodney wasn’t bad for us last year.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            The first 2 and half months of the season he was pathetic. From the start of the season through June 14th he pitched in 29 games and was only 13 for 18 converting saves. 28 1/3 IP, 21 H, 17 R, 17 ER, 22 BB, 36 SO, 5.40 ERA. After that he was really good.

          • DR22 2 years ago

            So your saying Rodney cost us 10 wins in a little over 3 months? Check again…
            I agree he wasn’t the “best” closer, but he wasn’t bad. I agree in that I hope the Rays sign Balfour.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            I’m just going to stop now. In my opinion I can go back and pin-point around 10 games that the Rays had a chance of winning but Rodney played a key role in taking away the Rays chances of winning. I never said it was a definite 10 games. I’m not going to go through and find and list each game because that would take way too long. If I get bored enough I may make a blog post about why the Rays need to sign Balfour and about how much of an upgrade he would be over Rodney.

          • TheRealRyan 2 years ago

            If you go back and look at every team, how many games do other closers cost their teams? Mariano Rivera is the best closer of all time and he had 7 blown saves last year compared to Rodney’s 8. Also, looking at the games logs Rodney gave up runs in 14 games, but only 8 of those games did his runs play a role in the outcome. Comparatively, Rivera gave up runs in 11 of his outings and 6 times his runs played a role in the outcome. In reality, the best closer of all time would maybe have given the Rays 2 more wins. I do say maybe though because Rodney did pitch in tougher situations shown my his higher average leverage index of 2.2 compared to Rivera’s 1.9.

          • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

            Again. Is 8 not close to 10? I said AROUND 10. I never said it was a definite 10. Mariano Rivera was no where near the greatest closer of all-time last season. His ERA+ was only 84 so of course his numbers are going to be close to Rodney’s. Craig Kimbrel is the best closer in baseball and has been for the last 3 years now.

            Blown Saves – Chisek 2, Grilli 2, Janssen 2, Balfour 3, Holland 3, Nathan 3, Frieri 4, Kimbrel 4, Mujica 4, Perkins 4, Chapman 5, Gregg 5, Romo 5, Soriano 6, Papelbon 7, Rodney 8, Reed 8, Johnson 9,

            You get the picture. A better closer could have given the Rays anywhere from 2-6 more wins. The Rays ended up 5 1/2 games behind the Red Sox. A few more wins and they could have won the division and avoid that WC play in game.

          • TheRealRyan 2 years ago

            According to B-Ref, Mariano Rivera had an ERA+ of 192, an ERA of 2.11 and 44 saves. Maybe he wasn’t the best ever last year, but he was still “proven” as you like to call it. You also said the Rays would have 10 more wins with a proven closer. In reality, you are looking at 1 or 2 more wins at most with a proven closer. Last year, Kimbrel, the best closer in baseball cost his team 5 wins. That means if the Rays had the best closer in the game, they would have won 3 more games. That’s nowhere near the 10 extra wins you claim the Rays would have had with a different closer.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      And the M’s would had an add’l 20+ wins

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        There is not another team in MLB that comes even close to how many 1-2 run games they’ve lost over the past 5 years! Just sickening if you’re a M’s fan.

        • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

          Well the M’s terrible offense leads to a lot of low scoring close games.

  10. Tim Bowers 2 years ago

    The M’s should make a strong push for Balfour.

    Balfour – CL
    Farquar/Furbush – set up men
    Medina/Wilhelmsen/Pryor – middle men
    Maurer or Ramirez as the long man

    That’s a solid pen. If they don’t add Balfour, hopefully they can get Oliver Perez as the second lefty.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      I was hoping the M’s add Oliver Perez & Balfour

  11. mattyg7 2 years ago

    I still don’t understand how he has grounds for a grievance. The whole point of doing physicals before signing the deal is so that teams can back out if their appears to be an injury risk. We don’t know what they found since they can’t say, but they acted fully within their rights by backing out, if I’m not mistaken. It may look slimy and flaky, but it’s still legal. Or am I somehow mistaken?

    • KJ4realz 2 years ago

      I think he can file a grievance because he was cleared by 2 or 3 other doctors saying he was at 100% and that his MRI of his shoulder looks no different than it did in 2005 I believe.

      Considering it was the Orioles doctor who supposedly found something, he could file a grievance to possibly find out what was found

      • Mike 2 years ago

        Interpreting diagnostic images is a subjective matter; it’s an issue with radiologists, that what one might see, another might not. The Orioles have had a long history of needing perfect medicals on their players, after being burned repeatedly by health issues (Albert Belle and Beau Hale off the top my head). GMs have complained about the difficulty of making trades to the Orioles as a result of this for a long time. This should not be a surprise to any one.

        Other GMs have incentive to punish the Orioles for being too careful, and the baseball media don’t like being told they are wrong after getting ‘a scoop’, which is probably why this narrative is being pushed.

        It’s not like you are plugging in a scanner to read an OBD code off of a used car you are thinking about buying. Grant Balfour is essentially a high mileage sports car.

  12. Damon Bowman 2 years ago

    And when Balfour signs a 2-year deal for something in the neighborhood of the deal the O’s originally offered, will he and his agent just shut up about it already. Everybody acts like the O’s had signatures and then renegged. The physical must be completed to make the deal official. Let’s not forget that the A’s cut bait on Balfour instead of trying to re-sign him for ’14 and beyond and turned around and traded for a guy who will make more in ’14 than Balfour was going to earn no matter what.

    • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

      We have no idea why the A’s did what they did. Don’t sit there and try to act like you know the A’s let Balfour walk because they were concerned about his health.

    • Jon 2 years ago

      While I would have liked the idea of Balfour working here, the O’s should have some street cred relative to signing closers, despite the haters here. Let BJ Ryan walk rather than give big money – never heard from again. Chris Ray – same. Let George Sherrill go walk after All Star year. Got maximum value from JJ – now we’ll see. Why would a money tight club like the A’s pass on him (Age, health?) to pay MORE money to JJ and all the innings he’s logged…..we’ll see….

  13. DR22 2 years ago

    If the Yankees are in on Balfour then I believe the Rays would be out of the running. Unless Balfour really enjoyed his time here and accepts a pay cut. There’s no way we could (or should) pay him over 6-7 million.

    • Tim Bliss 2 years ago

      I think the Rays should hang on to David Price and sign Balfour and go for it. WS or bust in 2014 for the Rays!

      • DR22 2 years ago

        It’s tempting, but the “all in” approach is not what we should strive for in my opinion. I can completely understand your opinion though. We should only trade Price in the perfect deal though.

  14. Dodgers should take a flyover on him

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