The saying goes, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Whatever the specific intended meaning behind that, it obviously can be molded to fit many situations. It can easily be shifted to fit the situation with closer Grant Balfour and the Tampa Bay Rays. Not so long ago the Baltimore Orioles had agreed to terms on a deal with Balfour and now as we all know, they backed out claiming physical problems.
Interestingly enough, while Balfour prepared to file a grievance against the Orioles, the Rays doctors were one of a few team’s physician staff that took a look at him and found him to be the picture of health. Now we sit here talking about the deal the Rays signed with Balfour which is reportedly worth $12M over two years. Some suggest that is too much but I completely disagree. Some of the game’s top closers are making $10M per season or more.
Balfour seems to be a bargain at the price they are paying for him if not a straight out steal. This gives them Balfour and Heath Bell for later innings which will possibly be an improvement over their situation from one year ago if both can achieve former lofty, late inning status. For a team that has begun to make a habit out of pulling off Oakland Athletics type moves, the signing of the A’s former closer for this price is something to be extremely proud of.