Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Former Rays reliever Balfour retires

Former Rays reliever Balfour retires

Former Rays reliever Grant Balfour has decided to retire, ending a 19-year pro career that included All-Star and World Series appearances.

"I had a pretty good career," Balfour told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday. "I was lucky to play for such a long time. … I got to do a lot of things."

Balfour, 38, who still lives in Clearwater, pitched parts of 12 seasons in the majors, including two stints with the Rays. He emerged as a key part of their 2008 World Series team, left as a free agent for Oakland in 2011, then came back to Tampa Bay in 2014 but was not as successful. He last pitched in the majors for the Rays in April 2015.

In 534 appearances, also with the Twins and Brewers, Balfour, one of the most accomplished players from Australia, was 30-23, 3.49 with 84 saves.

He said he is enjoying spending time with his wife and two daughters and working on a home buying-and-flipping business.

"I don't think it was a Hall of Fame career, but it was definitely rewarding," he said. "The game gave me a lot, and I really enjoyed playing. It was definitely a lot of fun."

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

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