NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Rays signed reliever Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal on Thursday.
The Mets offered the 36-year-old the same amount of money — and maybe even a little bit more — but Balfour turned it down, according to WFAN/CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
Balfour will be the Rays’ closer. He likely would have been the setup man to Bobby Parnell in Queens, which might have factored in his decision to sign with Tampa Bay.
But the chance to reunite with manager Joe Maddon and the franchise that he pitched for from 2007-2010 seems to have had more of an influence on his thought process.
The Mets could have used the 2013 All-Star in their bullpen. New York’s bullpen currently consists of Parnell — who is coming off of injury — Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Gonzalez Germen, Vic Black and Scott Rice.
It’s been an especially odd offseason for the Australian, who initially agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles on December 17. Three days later, however, Baltimore announced that it was backing out of the deal due to concerns about Balfour’s health.
The veteran right-hander was brilliant for Oakland last year, pitching to a 2.59 ERA and recording 38 saves. He struck out 72 and walked 27 in 62 2/3 innings of work over 65 appearances.
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