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A’s options: Stephen Drew declined, Grant Balfour exercised

Oct 29, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Four Getty Images

Oakland has exercised its 2013 option on Grant Balfour, bringing the right-hander back for $4.5 million after he emerged as the team’s closer this season, but the A’s have declined their half of Stephen Drew‘s mutual option for $10 million.

That makes Drew a free agent, although it’s possible the A’s could try to re-sign him in what is a pretty weak year for available shortstops. Drew hit .250 with five homers and a .707 OPS in 39 games for the A’s after struggling for the Diamondbacks. He gets a $1.35 million buyout.

Balfour had never saved more than four games in a season previously, but emerged as the A’s closer at age 34 and converted 24 saves with a 2.53 ERA in 75 innings. Combined during the past five seasons Balfour has a 2.78 ERA in 318 innings, striking out 9.6 batters per nine frames while holding opponents to a .191 batting average.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Have to congratulate the Aussie on his fine year. Balfour actually lost the closing role for a short time during the season, but quickly regained the job.

  2. sknut - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I hope the Twins sniff around Drew he would be an upgrade over what they have. not saying much I know but its a start.

  3. APBA Guy - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Scott Boras believes that Drew can do well on the open market precisely because it is such a weak year for shortstops. Whether “well” translates into multiple years at $ 10M plus, he certainly didn’t play that caliber of ball with the A’s, though he was a stable presence defensively, and allowed the A’s to move Pennington to second which considerably tightened the infield defense.

    It’s entirely possible that he A’s will make some kind of offer for Drew, but probably not enough to get Boras’ interest initially. Beane has said that the payroll will increase for 2013, and with attendance having increased almost 15% because of the playoff run and because this team was actually fun to watch, there may be a little headroom even after the Chris Young deal.

  4. b453841l - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Grant Balfour exercised; however, Pablo Sandoval did not.

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