The Oakland Athletics wouldn’t have even stood a chance at winning the AL West for the second straight year had it not been for Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour.
Colon was masterful in his 16th MLB season with a career-low ERA of 2.65, 18 wins and an impressive K/BB ratio of 4.03, which was also a career-high for this All-Star starting pitcher. Obviously, no one expected a 40-year old like Colon to carry the A’s all the way to the postseason, but it happened and No. 40 should be rewarded for his efforts. Unfortunately, Oakland has never been in position to just shell out money, so Colon may be forced to find his next payday somewhere else.
Meanwhile, the Athletics may also been in the market for a closer this off-season as Balfour’s contract is up after the 2013 season. Balfour may be known for his Australian roots and temper, yet his 2013 campaign was exceptional with 38 saves out of 41 tries. This is the kind of production that MLB teams drool over, so don’t be surprised if a team like the Detroit Tigers decide to break the bank and sign Balfour to a long-term extension this off-season.
However, the Tigers won’t be the only team interested in this duo of pitchers as the Athletics know just how important Colon and Balfour are to this team’s success.