11 Updates
MLB: TB Rays Sign RHP Grant Balfour to 2-Year, $12 M Deal
Photo Credit: Getty Images

MLB: TB Rays Sign RHP Grant Balfour to 2-Year, $12 M Deal

Jan 23 2014, 11:40pm CST | by

The Tampa Bay Rays signed right-handed pitcher and closer Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal on Jan. 23. He returns to the team he played for from 2007-10.

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-handed pitcher Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal.  Balfour returns to the Rays, whom he played for as a setup man from 2007-10. Bill Chastain of the...

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25 weeks ago

MLB: TB Rays Sign RHP Grant Balfour to 2-Year, $12 M Deal

Jan 23 2014, 11:40pm CST | by

MLB: TB Rays Sign RHP Grant Balfour to 2-Year, $12 M Deal Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays signed right-handed pitcher and closer Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal on Jan. 23. He returns to the team he played for from 2007-10.

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-handed pitcher Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal

Balfour returns to the Rays, whom he played for as a setup man from 2007-10. Bill Chastain of the Rays' official website confirmed the acquisition of the highly-sought, free-agent closer in his Jan. 23 article .

"Grant Balfour is returning to the Rays.

"The announcement that the hard-throwing former Rays reliever had signed a two-year, $12 million deal came Thursday afternoon at the Tampa Museum of Art.

"Balfour, 36, served as a setup man for the Rays during his previous tenure, but he will be slotted as the club's closer this time around. Earlier this offseason, Tampa Bay traded for veteran closer Heath Bell and signed Juan Carlos Ovideo (formerly known as Leo Nunez), who also is an experienced closer. Fernando Rodney closed for the team the past two seasons."

Balfour, a native of Sydney, Australia who resides in Clearwater, Fla., told Chastain going back to Tampa Bay "wasn't all about the money."

"There are other teams out there that wanted my services. Like I've said, it wasn't all about the money. I did have other offers that were higher offers. But to be here in Tampa, to play with (Rays manager Joe Maddon) and have the familiarity, and I love the area. And I love playing for the Rays. My family is here, and I love staying at home.

"I want to win a World Series. We got really close here in 2008. And I'm really hoping that here, in the next few years, that I can win one."  

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports the New York Mets were one of those teams which were interested in Balfour, and were dangling a deal similar to that of the Rays, citing an ESPN New York source. 

However, he ultimately chose Tampa Bay because he resides in the area. 

The Washington Nationals were another interested suitor , according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. 

On the other hand, Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times writes Balfour landed once again with the Rays after a two-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles which he agreed to didn't come to fruition after they had lingering concerns about his shoulder. 

The right-handed Aussie closer "was upset," per Topkin, and his agents eventually had Rays orthopedist Koco Eaton confirm publicly that he was in tip-top shape. 

Balfour, who passed a physical with Tampa Bay this week, says so himself. He told Topkin,"I'm totally healthy, 100 percent healthy, and you'll see that when I take the field. I'm looking forward to it." 

With a healthy Balfour in tow, Rays manager proclaimed him as the team's new closer in an interview with Adam Berry of the Rays' official website on Thursday at the Tampa Museum of Art.

"We're actually going to use the C-word this year, which is very unique for me and for us. It's a radical departure. But he has earned this particular situation, this moment, this role. We're going to have a really deep bullpen. I'm looking at the names, it's really exciting." 

Among those names include Balfour, Bell, Ovideo, Joel Peralta, Jake McGee and Cesar Ramos, Berry notes. 

In another development, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg told The Tampa Bay Times he expects starting pitcher David Price, who is the subject of several trade rumors, to stay. 

"My expectation is that David Price will be here. None of this was done with the belief that David would or would not be here. This was done to take a baseball team that has the opportunity to be special this year and give it the best chance to be special. 

"Stuff happens, but we're not waking up every morning for the phone to ring, and we're not dialing around the league trying to make something happen." 

Balfour, a 10-year veteran who has also seen action for the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Rays and Oakland Athletics, has amassed a 28-17 record with 514 strikeouts and a 3.27 ERA, according to ESPN stats

 
Update
11

2 hours ago

A’s designate ex-closer Johnson for assignment

Jul 24 2014 3:52pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics have designated right-hander Jim Johnson for assignment before Thursday’s game against the Houston Astros. Johnson, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, was 4-2 with a 6.92 ERA in 38 games with the A’s. Brought in to replace Grant Balfour as the team’s closer, Johnson faltered early, blowing his first two chances before losing his job. He allowed four runs on three hits without retiring a batter in Wednesday night’s 9-7 victory ov ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
10

2 hours ago

A’s designate ex-closer Johnson for assignment

Jul 24 2014 3:52pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics have designated right-hander Jim Johnson for assignment before Thursday’s game against the Houston Astros. Johnson, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, was 4-2 with a 6.92 ERA in 38 games with the A’s. Brought in to replace Grant Balfour as the team’s closer, Johnson faltered early, blowing his first two chances before losing his job. He allowed four runs on three ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
9

2 hours ago

A’s designate ex-closer Johnson for assignment

Jul 24 2014 3:52pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics have designated right-hander Jim Johnson for assignment before Thursday’s game against the Houston Astros. Johnson, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, was 4-2 with a 6.92 ERA in 38 games with the A’s. Brought in to replace Grant Balfour as the team’s closer, Johnson faltered early, blowing his first two chances before losing his job. He allowed four runs on three hits without retiring a batter in Wednesday n ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
8

5 weeks ago

Should we have seen the Rays' bad start coming?

Jun 13 2014 7:00am CDT | Source: SBNation

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
The Rays were supposed to be one of the best teams in baseball. How was almost everyone so wrong? Before the season started, all of the baseball folks at SB Nation worked rather hard on a fancy season preview. My job was to make predictions, which was fun because I got to pretend I know everything, but was also awful because I knew I was going to look like a fool in about two months. The only thing I knew for sure ...
Source: SBNation   Full article at: SBNation
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

Hernandez strikes out 15 as M’s blank Rays

Jun 8 2014 4:12pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Felix Hernandez didn’t get the win. His dominant performance put the Seattle Mariners in position for victory, though. Hernandez struck out a career-high 15 in seven innings before Endy Chavez keyed a five-run ninth with a tiebreaking RBI single, leading the Mariners to a 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. When asked what was working, Hernandez said "everything." "It was fun to go out there," he said. Rays manager ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Bedard solid as Rays end 10-game losing skid

Jun 6 2014 9:51pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then. Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one in endin ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

Bedard solid as Rays end 10-game losing skid

Jun 6 2014 9:51pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then. Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one in ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
3

6 weeks ago

Bedard solid as Rays end 10-game losing skid

Jun 6 2014 9:51pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then. Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one i ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
2

6 weeks ago

Bedard solid as Rays end 10-game losing skid

Jun 6 2014 9:51pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then. Bedard (3-4) scattered four h ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 
Update
1

6 weeks ago

Bedard solid as Rays end 10-game losing skid

Jun 6 2014 9:51pm CDT | Source: Sportsnet.ca

Tampa Bay Rays v Detroit Tigers
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Friday night. The skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then. Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one ...
Source: Sportsnet.ca   Full article at: Sportsnet.ca
 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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