Reliever Grant Balfour has established himself as one of the best closers in the big leagues over the past two seasons, which is why he will be in high demand during the 2013 Winter Meetings. Some say giving the 36-year-old a decent payday is a big risk. However, the Cleveland Indians are one team in particular that really should take a chance on the veteran.
Cleveland and Balfour discussed a possible contract on the first day of the Winter Meetings. That doesn’t mean that the Indians are a lock to sign him or that they even want to add him to their roster. It simply means that Cleveland is interested in what he has to offer.
The fact is the Indians need a closer and the best way for them to go about getting one is through free agency. There is certainly some talent available, but there is no question Balfour ranks right up there with the best of them.
His 38 saves, 72 strikeouts and 2.59 earned run average in 65 appearances for the Oakland Athletics last season should be enough for Cleveland to make an offer.
There’s some speculation that he won’t be able to put up the same numbers in years past, especially if he moves to another team. However, the fact is he has posted less than a 2.59 ERA in four straight seasons, which means he’s definitely worth taking a chance on for a team that desperately needs someone to shut the door in the ninth inning.