Balfour reunites with Rays on two-year deal

Balfour reunites with Rays on 2-year deal

1/23/14 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Back in mid-December, reliever Grant Balfour agreed to a two-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles that would have been worth $15 million. During his physical, however, the Orioles saw some problems that they were not willing to gamble on, and the deal was nullified. About a month later, Balfour has found a team that will take him - the Tampa Bay Rays.

Blog Photo - Balfour reunites with Rays on two-year dealMarc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has reported that Balfour has signed with the Rays on a two-year, $12 million deal. The contract is $3 million less than what the Orioles had offered, but Balfour can find solace in the fact that he'll be in sunny Florida with a better chance of notching saves, as the Rays project to be a stronger team this year.

Having become a closer for the first time just two years ago, the 36-year-old Australian has racked up 62 saves while registering a 2.56 ERA since 2012, and assuming his health pans out, he's a great add for the Rays. Balfour also played in Tampa Bay from 2007-10, but as a middle reliever, notching just eight saves over his four years there.

Balfour rounds out a bullpen that includes Heath Bell, Joel Peralta, and Jake McGee. It's not the greatest group of middle relievers, but Balfour adds plenty of stability in the ninth inning.
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