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Nationals interested in free agent Grant Balfour

Jan 19, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT

grant balfour getty Getty Images

The Orioles scrapped a two-year, $15 million pact with free agent right-hander Grant Balfour after a pre-signing physical revealed some previously-undiscovered issues in the reliever’s wrist and knee.

But Balfour shouldn’t be out of work much longer.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 36-year-old native of Sydney, Australia is now drawing interest from the Nationals, who could be looking to trade Drew Storen in the coming weeks.

Rafael Soriano is expected to serve as Washington’s closer in 2014 and Tyler Clippard will be the setup man. Balfour would slide into the seventh-inning role if Storen, whose price is rising in arbitration, is moved.

Balfour posted an outstanding 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 137 1/3 innings over his final two seasons (2012-2013) with the Oakland A’s. He also saved 62 games in 67 attempts.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Didn’t realize that Balfour hailed from Oz. Dear Buddha, that’s a long trip home, innit? Hope he pitches against the Cubs so I’ll have some excuses to work up a dropbear joke or two.

  2. spudchukar - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    The Nats might use Balfour to close some. I believe Soriano has an option, $14mil ? or so, if he reaches a certain closing number in 2014, and the Nats might be trying to avoid that.

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Fun question for you. If Balfour were to win a grievance against the Orioles, then hurt his wrist mid way through the season, would the Orioles then be able to recover any lost damages? Has a player ever won a grievance against a team?

    • David Proctor - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      They’d have to prove the injury was pre-existing.

  4. louhudson23 - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    I have yet to see any Doctor statement or results from any examination which indicate a problem with his wrist ,knee,shoulder or anything else…The Orioles apparently belatedly stated that they did, but Balfour has maintained that he has been given a clean bill of health by everyone who has examined him and there has been no one to contradict that statement other than the Orioles claiming it well after the fact.The link indicates Buster Olney attributes the knee/wrist problem to a “source”…That means little or nothing ,and I assume,should Balfour file a grievance,it will mean even less then….I believe he is waiting to see what effect this has had on his market value(if any) when all is said and done before he decides his actions.Till then,we have Balfour’s yet to be medically contradicted statement that he was found healthy…

    • randomdigits - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      Roch Kubatko, who works for MASN, refuted the Elbow/Wrist story reporting that it was indeed the shoulder.

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