Dec 29, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT
There hasn’t been much speculation surrounding Grant Balfour, largely because he’s a Type A free agent and most teams aren’t keen on surrendering a first-round draft pick to sign a non-closer reliever.
In fact, Balfour declining the Rays’ arbitration offer last month was viewed by many as a surprise because of how much the draft pick attached to signing him would hurt his market value.
However, teams with a pick in the top half of the first round have their pick protected, meaning they’d only lose a second-round pick for signing Balfour. That means sub-.500 teams–or above-.500 teams that have already signed another Type A guy–are his most likely suitors, so it makes sense that the Orioles have “definite interest” in Balfour, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
He’d be used as a late-inning setup man in Baltimore after filling that same role in Tampa Bay for the past three seasons, going 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 181 innings. If the draft pick compensation is scary most teams off the Orioles could get a bargain on a shutdown reliever, but their reported heavy interest in Kevin Gregg could ultimately rule out Balfour.
- Jon Niese bristles at the media reporting Dan Warthen’s racial slur — and I sorta understand why 44
- Jimmy Rollins on Ryne Sandberg: “Everyone is allowed to have their opinion. That doesn’t make it right.” 74
- Smart money on Hanley Ramirez, Jay Bruce in prop bets 26
- 2014 Preview: Kansas City Royals 19
- Kris Medlen expects to have another Tommy John surgery 13
- Is Barry Bonds really getting a “fair hearing?” (102)
- Keith Olbermann REALLY hates that Barry Bonds is coaching the Giants for a week (98)
- Manny Machado calls $519K salary for 2014 “disappointing” (90)
- Giants players love having Barry Bonds at spring training (90)
- Ryan Braun calls himself an “artist,” doesn’t care what fans on the road will shout at him (84)