Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reliever Grant Balfour leaves Tampa Bay Rays for Oakland A's

ST. PETERSBURG — The exodus from the Rays bullpen is nearly complete, as Grant Balfour agreed Friday to a two-year, $8.1 million deal with the A's.

This week, Balfour had been considering a return to the Rays on a one-year contract but then got the multiyear deal he had been seeking.

With his departure, the Rays have lost six of the eight pitchers who threw their most relief innings last season, with a seventh, Lance Cormier, still on the free agent market. Only Andy Sonnanstine returns.

The massive makeover was expected. "The whole time we've been plotting to reconstruct our bullpen, so hopefully we don't miss a beat," manager Joe Maddon said.

The Rays have signed Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth (whose deal is expected to be finalized today) and acquired Adam Russell in trade. They are still seeking a closer, with Brian Fuentes and Jon Rauch among the possibilities. The other spots will be filled during spring training.

"We lack that one closer yet, but we have some nice physical arms," Maddon said. "We could surprise some people."

Balfour, who made $2.05 million this past season, will get $3.75 million in 2011 and $4 million in 2012, with either a $350,000 buyout or $4.5 million option for 2013.

In other Rays news:

• Outfielder B.J. Upton and Sonnanstine were the only eligible Rays to file for salary arbitration by Friday's deadline, with figures to be exchanged Tuesday.

• ESPN.com reported the Rays were one of five teams to express interest in free agent DH Manny Ramirez. The Angels, Twins, Rangers and Jays were the others.

Twins keep Thome: DH Jim Thome, 40, re-signed with Minnesota for one year, $3 million.

Arbitration: AL MVP Josh Hamilton of the Rangers headed the list of 119 players who filed for salary arbitration. About half are expected to settle by Tuesday, though three did Friday: righty Matt Belisle (Colorado, $2.35 million), reliever Joel Zumaya (Detroit, $1.4 million), and outfielder Alex Gordon (Kansas City, $1.4 million).

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Reliever Grant Balfour leaves Tampa Bay Rays for Oakland A's 01/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.