Grant Balfour the right handed reliever for the Rays … well soon to be ex- right handed reliever, I should say, Has declined arbitration. I assumed I would hear my favorite Aussie was going to accept. Being so sure of this, I never thought of seeing him with any other team in 2011. When I looked at his options, I thought the Rays were his best bet. As in any relationship, that’s what I get for being too comfortable and assuming.
A Yankee connection in Tampa has mentioned that there is interest in Balfour. At first I thought “Nahhh. Can’t see it.” The more I dwell on losing him, the more it makes sense. The Yankees could use a reliever like Grant.
Balfour is a Type A free agent =Yankees would look to lose a draft pick. Now, if the Yanks sign Cliff Lee they will lose their first round pick regardless. Right…
So Grant had until midnight tonight to decide to accept. His decline was classy, while trying not to be greedy. Balfour would like a multi- year deal, opposed to accepting a one year deal with the Rays. His $2.05- million salary from 2010 would likely have been doubled, nice raise… Now he can see what the market has for him. As leaving Tampa Bay is not set in stone and understanding he is “Talking with the Rays,” I’m still shocked.
With this kind of crazy talk and Joaquin Benoit landing a sweet deal in Detroit… Grant might just get what he’s looking for. I just hope it’s some where in the NL if he’s not staying in here in Tampa.
Balfour is a damn good pitcher, very passionate about what he can do on the mound, his worst critic, I believe. All of which makes him even more likable. I’m very biased, though. Grant had me at slamming the Gatorade into the brick wall not once, but twice. I adore him.
Every cursing moment of him on the mound in a Rays uniform, I will cherish and keep my fingers crossed… Grant wants to see what’s out there. I understand.
To be continued…