Yankees Interested In Grant Balfour

The Yankees have shown interest in closer Grant Balfour in the wake of his deal with the Orioles coming apart, a source tells Kevin Kernan of the New York Post.  Balfour, of course, had a two-year, $15MM deal ironed out with Baltimore before the club backed out of the deal over concern about his shoulder. 

The Yankees want to give David Robertson the shot to earn the closer’s role but adding Balfour would give them an experienced ninth-inning option.  Robertson believes that he is prepared to take over Mariano Rivera's position but is also willing to be the eight-inning option again if that's what the Yankees want him to do.

While the O's apparently saw something that they didn't like, Balfour insists that he is healthy and says that he has "at least" one offer on the table with three other clubs interested.  Balfour, who turns 36 next Monday, posted a 2.59 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 on his way to a first career All-Star selection in 2013.  


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56 Comments on "Yankees Interested In Grant Balfour"


Brandon Mason
1 year 7 months ago

I wonder how much the Yankees would offer him.?

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Balfour will sign with an AL east club (NYY or TB) just to show Baltimore how healthy he is!

Rev0lution
1 year 7 months ago

Balfour wants to win NOW. If TB seriously is committing to trade Price, it certainly compromises their ability to stay atop the AL East regardless of how great a Mgr. Maddon is or strong the lineup will be.

Losing an ACE is unlike losing any other rotation spot and although TB boasts a solid young core and continues to show promises at the upper echelons of their MiLB structure, don’t be fooled to believe that they will easily ensure losing a high-end SP like Price or get back an Ace (very good prospects? Definitely. But an established, Cy Young-caliber #1 – absolutely NOT; why would any team trade an Ace for an Ace? Makes no sense).

Balfour is probably listening intently to NYY if he can be guaranteed to close in ’14 and serve in a “John Wetteland” capacity to Robertson during a three-year stint.

1 year 7 months ago

Mariano Rivera served in that capacity to Robertson already. Robertson will be a FA after 2015 so that doesn’t really work at all. I think he’s proven that he deserves a shot.

Rev0lution
1 year 7 months ago

Rev, while I respect your comment, I disagree with you.

Mo was NOT Wetteland to Robertson. Mo was MO; The Sandman, The Legend, the last man to honorably have the right to wear #42!!!

Robertson was a “hopeful” option but not necessarily groomed to be the Closer. NYY was/is hoping he meets the challenge. But even Giraldi isn’t 100% convinced he is ready. He looks dominant at times and has the makeup, but he is smallish in the John Franco mold and he has some rare streaks of ineffective performance.

This isn’t meant to be a knock on him, but you KNEW Mo was ready to take over for Wetteland. Everyone wanted to see it. Do you honestly feel the same about Robertson? He does deserve the chance but has he taken it by the reins and made it his passion and pursuit??? I’m not sure many can say he has.

As for the pending free agency, if they lock in Balfour with this as the plan (and even if they don’t), I’m sure they’ll satisfy Robertson with a contract extension to keep him in pinstripes for at least 3-4 years after ’15.

Rev0lution
1 year 7 months ago

Rev, while I respect your comment, I disagree with you.

Mo was NOT Wetteland to Robertson. Mo was MO; The Sandman, The Legend, the last man to honorably have the right to wear #42!!!

Robertson was a “hopeful” option but not necessarily groomed to be the Closer. NYY was/is hoping he meets the challenge. But even Giraldi isn’t 100% convinced he is ready. He looks dominant at times and has the makeup, but he is smallish in the John Franco mold and he has some rare streaks of ineffective performance.

This isn’t meant to be a knock on him, but you KNEW Mo was ready to take over for Wetteland. Everyone wanted to see it. Do you honestly feel the same about Robertson? He does deserve the chance but has he taken it by the reins and made it his passion and pursuit??? I’m not sure many can say he has.

As for the pending free agency, if they lock in Balfour with this as the plan (and even if they don’t), I’m sure they’ll satisfy Robertson with a contract extension to keep him in pinstripes for at least 3-4 years after ’15.

1 year 7 months ago

I’m not comparing the players’ talents. Mo was a setup man to Wetteland as Robertson was to Mo.

Roberston’s passion isn’t my business. His performance suggests that he’s ready, especially considering the alternatives. JP Riccardi and Bobby Valentine can tell you how well questioning a players’ passion goes.

Do you really think that he’ll get an extension? He’s arbitration eligible so a extension would require locking up 14-15 as well. How many 5-6 year deals are given to relievers?

Croagnut
1 year 7 months ago

Balfour wants to win now? Then why’d he sign with O’s first?

Rev0lution
1 year 7 months ago

That’s ridiculous that you would make that comment. The O’s are talented and have Showalter at the helm. They need mostly pitching to join the AL East contending logjam, so why wouldn’t Balfour; a fierce competitor who believed he could be a difference maker for them; want to sign on and help change their fortunes.

Seriously think about how close B-more is from being playoff ready. Not that far at all.

tbslim
1 year 7 months ago

LoL. Too much stock in bloggers. Read what the actual Rays executives are saying about trading Price. It’s very different from what the “experts” say. I’m not suggesting it absolutely won’t happen but Friedman isn’t calling every GM in the league saying please trade me something for David Price. He’ll get a better than Wil Myers and company deal or Price won’t be going anywhere. But you’re right, if Price goes, it will be tougher, not impossible but tougher, for TB to compete this year. No team in the AL East has gotten significantly better yet but there’s still a ways to go.

1 year 7 months ago

I had Balfour to the Yankees on my predictions list. That would be one of the few I got right. Surprisingly exciting offseason so far given what was expected.

Junior7188
1 year 7 months ago

That would be a good pickup for yankees but David Robertson should get a chance to close games, i would say pickup Grant Balfour and let him and David Robertson take turns closing games for spring training and the first month of the season, that way you can see if David Robertson really would do good as a closer,

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

He walks too many batters throws too many pitches He’d never be able to pitch 2 days in a row with how this guy goes about pitching.

Frittoman626
1 year 7 months ago

Who walks too many, if your talking about Robertson his walk rates have dropped over the past couple of years so walks are barely a problem now. I want the Yankees to sign Balfour if he would be willing to set up, it’s Robertson’s time to close especially since he will be a free agent after 2014 and having him as closer almost guarantees he will be back.

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

So the guy experienced with closing games should set up? What universe do you live in? Guy has pitched more in the 9th inning so much more than Robertson has and had a near 40 save season with an under 2.70 era. So we should randomly let the guy who walks and gives up hits at the worst times a chance?

bernbabybern
1 year 7 months ago

Robertson

2012 bb/9 2.8
2013 bb/9 2.4

Balfour

2012 bb/9 3.4
2013 bb/9 3.9

livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 7 months ago

It is almost as if you have not really seen Robertson pitch..

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

I saw Robertson try to close when they really needed him to for the 2 games or so they needed him to and he was pummeled into the ground and got completely hammered around.I guess you’re the one who hasn’t seen him pitch

Alex Nappy Gonzalez
1 year 7 months ago

Robertson was injured when Mariano went down back in 2012, it’s why Soriano stepped in… in case you don’t remember.

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

Soriano was great for the Yankees that season also he closed for stage Rays the previous year which was why he replaced Mo.

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

Soriano was great for the Yankees that season also he closed for stage Rays the previous year which was why he replaced Mo.

bernbabybern
1 year 7 months ago

Wow, a whole 2 games? Go check how Mariano did when he first started closing.

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

He had 43 saves and a 1.88 era in 1997 Wettleland closed in 96

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

I would think that in order to give anyone trying to be a teams closer (who hasn’t been in the past) should be given a real shot at doing it, not have some closer carousel like some teams have had in the past (like my Cubbies last year).
I think Robertson should be given the shot, unless they can grab a guy like Balfour (who is a proven closer) and in that case Robertson is the setup guy.

James Pinsky
1 year 7 months ago

I see this blowing up in the Orioles faces very soon.

danistheguy
1 year 7 months ago

As an Orioles fan, I can tell you there’s actually no other way this works out. He will be a Yankee, and he will fist pump his way to saving every game against us.

Omazing
1 year 7 months ago

Well it won’t be any different from the last guy. Both walk out to Metallica and dominate.

danistheguy
1 year 7 months ago

Touche.

livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 7 months ago

It will be different as one not only dominates but basically proves he isn’t human.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

It very well could, and I hope he is healthy and does well for the rest of his career. But in recent history the O’s have signed big money deals to players who barely touched the field after inking the contract (Roberts and Wada) I don’t blame them for being gun when it comes to medicals.

OhthePossibilities
1 year 7 months ago

Or, you know, he could pitch well all season and then need surgery next spring…which would validate the O’s decision to follow the Doc’s recommendation of only a one year deal.

Sharkey Lasers
1 year 7 months ago

Get ‘er done!

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 7 months ago

3 years/$21MM and the hopes that he dominates, I am thinking.

GetTheRunnerOver
1 year 7 months ago

3 years? no

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

2 years 15 like the orioles?

GetTheRunnerOver
1 year 7 months ago

Thats what i was thinking

Collateral96
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe even 2 years for 20 even if it’s pushing it a bit

Delia Enriquez
1 year 7 months ago

No to 3 years. I’d do maybe 1-2 but not for $21 Million. Maybe $7-8 Million for 1 year and $14-15 Million for 2 years.

HHHDMS
1 year 7 months ago

just make the deal, 1 yr plus incentives…they need bullpen help

Since_77
1 year 7 months ago

Sounds fair.

Tigers72
1 year 7 months ago

Hope the Tigers get him or Rodney.

Robert Mango
1 year 7 months ago

wow, the yankees are interesting in someone? big news!

bdiddy7
1 year 7 months ago

It’s about time Cashman started looking into upgrading the pen. As of right now, it’s Robertson, Kelley, Claiborne, Thornton, Cabral, Warren…hardly inspiring.

Alex Nappy Gonzalez
1 year 7 months ago

That’s actually pretty solid. You’ve got a potential closer, two setup men in Claiborne and Kelley, two lefties, most the Yankees have had since Rapada disappeared, and a long man. No big names, but some solid options.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

“solid” is stretching it… a lot.

bdiddy7
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not worried about Robertson. The man is good, and I think he’ll be fine. Kelley–I’m not confident in him pitching the eighth consistently. Claiborne is pretty average. Thornton hasn’t had a good year in a while. He could go either way, find it again or fall flat on his face. Lastly, Cabral is unproven. We need solid, proven guys a la Balfour/Rodney.

pft2
1 year 7 months ago

Betances has some potential

bdiddy7
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, he does. But right now he’s far too inconsistent.

faceforest
1 year 7 months ago

I still see him going back to Tampa. Too much familiarity and chemistry. Plus the vote of confidence from the team that he got on Friday. Hard not to think that.

JJ
1 year 7 months ago

1 year/4.5 MM plus 2.5MM incentives and a vesting option for 2015.

Nick Cannon
1 year 7 months ago

Rodney to Yankees, Balfour to Rays

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Rodney wants to go where he’ll be THE GUY.

KnowledgeDivine
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees Need this Man , Robertson while Decent is not ready so sudden to fill the shoes , what is his stats when he did fill in as closer ? The last true heir the Yanks had they messed up in Joba

slider32
1 year 7 months ago

If the Yanks are smart they will sign Balfour to a 2/16 deal! This will shorten the game with Robertson and Balfour which is what they need with their line-up.

pft2
1 year 7 months ago

I think the Yankees are done spending. They may be interested in a 4 million AAV incentive laden deal with a vesting option but FB RP’ers like Balfour don’t play well in Yankee stadium . I think on short money and years he goes somewhere with a friendlier park like Tampa .

Rodney is probably a better fit for the Yankees but would want more money and the Yankees are run by 189’ers now.

Dave Guarnieri
1 year 7 months ago

I HOPE he is healthy and whatever they found was not as serious as the O’s think. The Yanks need experienced bullpen depth, he does not necessarily have to be the closer. But after all the injuries last year the most fustrating thing that can happen is that they find something wrong in Spring Training and he has to miss a considerable amount of time.