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Grant Balfour surprisingly declines Rays’ arbitration offer

Nov 30, 2010, 7:43 PM EDT

Grant Balfour

Tonight is the deadline for potential free agents to either accept or decline arbitration offers.  There won’t be many surprises, but we’ll keep tabs on the more shocking decisions.

Here’s one.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, right-hander Grant Balfour has decided to decline the Rays’ offer of arbitration and will test the free agent market instead.

He’s a Type A free agent and will cost any team that signs him a first round draft pick, but Balfour is probably hoping that the stellar 2.28 ERA and 1.08 WHIP that he posted over 55.1 innings this past season will lead to a multi-year contract.

It’s not known if any clubs have expressed interest in the 32-year-old Balfour thus far.

Each of the seven players that were offered arbitration by the Rays have decided to decline.

  1. proudlycanadian - Nov 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    I would not be surprised if Balfour has a contract almost sewn up. It would probably be with a team that is not in danger of losing its first round pick. Jason Frasor of the Jays is in a similar situation. One reporter said that Frasor was negotiating with 3 teams. If he does not sign before midnight, he will accept arbitration.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM

      So who did accept arbitration? As expected, Jason Frasor will be back with The Jays. Toronto will still pick up an extra 5 early round draft picks next year.

  2. chedberg - Nov 30, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Come on Balfour, don’t leave us with Wheeler.

  3. flpunx - Dec 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    So if we lose all of our bullpen free agents (which it very well looks like we may, minus maybe Balfour and Wheeler) we will go from this past season of actually not worrying once our bullpen comes in, back to the olden days of hanging our heads in sorrow every time a starter gets yanked. I know the Rays have a great starting rotation, but Shields and Garza can have their 2 inning outings, and then we are relying on Lance Cormier? True Hellickson and Sonnanstine fit the long reliever role nicely, but some people are going to have to adjust to different roles in the bullpen, and we’ve already seen the difference it makes with Hellickson when he starts vs. coming out of the bullpen. . . . . .

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