Grant Balfour (AP)

Rays sign Grant Balfour; did the Mets make a similar offer?

The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RHP Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million deal (Topkin).

Before he signed with Tampa, the Mets offered a similar deal to Balfour, but he preferred to sign with the Rays and be closer to his home in Clearwater, Florida (Rosenthal, Rubin). However, a Mets official denied they made such a bid for Balfour (Puma). Balfour told reporters that there “was more money elsewhere,” but wanted to return to Tampa and Joe Maddon (Topkin).

Balfour originally agreed to sign with the Orioles earlier in the off-season, but Baltimore reportedly had concerns over his medical reports and they decided not to sign him.

Balfour, 35, went 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 65 relief appearances for the A’s in 2013, allowing 48 hits and 27 walks with 72 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Whether the Mets made an offer or not, it’s too bad this didn’t work out. I do wonder if their inability to guarantee Balfour the closer job impacted his decision to join the Rays instead.

The Mets have have been searching for a solid and stable presence for their bullpen, and Balfour would have been a very good fit for them. He has an extended track record of durability, he throws strikes, and is versatile in the bullpen, all of which the Mets badly need.




139 comments
Bob G
Bob G

I've been a Met fan since I was 6, 45 years ago. I've never been more ashamed to admit to anyone I am a Met fan. The ownership is pathetic, the GM is nothing but an overpaid mouthpiece that Bud Selig sent hoping he could pull off a couple of miracles with no money to make his buddy Fred look at least somewhat respectable. This is a joke of an organization and anyone that goes to Citi Field is simply feeding the tumor that is Wilpon ownership. The only thing we can do as fans is stay away and hope the Wilpons are forced to sell. I used to be a 20-25 game a year fan and I haven't been to CitiField the last two seasons, with no plans to go back. 


What an embarrassment this team is to a great city like NY.

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

that tells you that some players just dont want to come here and isnt always about the money, WAKE UP WILPONS!!!!

Robby Johnson
Robby Johnson

The guy wanted to be closer to his family and had an opportunity to play for a legitimate contender.  Got two birds stoned at once - good for him.

Mike Dupp
Mike Dupp

The owners are content with us competing for 3rd place. Until that changes, this team will be a cellar dweller for years to come. The biggest problem has always been ownership.

MMIAA
MMIAA

I mean that's just plain stupid if we offered the same as the Rays.............SANDY mental note that aint gonna work. dog wont hunt ya know what I mean. Even Omar wasn't that stupid.

Scott Smith
Scott Smith

So wound I The Rays have better player .

Jonathan Peters
Jonathan Peters

He was happy in Tampa. Can't knock him for that. I get it. LGM!

Andrew Oci
Andrew Oci

Mets need a bullpen....aardsma left today

rono
rono

I will say that this site does try to keep us Mets fans up-to-date on what is going on .... at least they are not trying to hawk books, t-shirts and convention tickets like that snake oil salesman over at Mets Police.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

I know that they signed Reynolds and Overbay to minor league deals but does Mil signing Matt Garza make them more wiling to move Tyler Thornburg for Ike since it pushes him back from 5th starter to 6th starter on the depth chart?

Major Pain 0303
Major Pain 0303

No more 2 year 12 million dollar contracts to older relievers. Not saying Grant is FF but its just bad juju.


mets2891
mets2891

I really hope they didn't blow this because of the strict budget they claimed they wouldn't have this off-season.

1metfan
1metfan

This is a guy I really was hoping the Mets would get. He should of been given the closers role and the 2 years 12 million (which by the way is just the number I said it would take to sign him a few days ago.) If the Mets were a playoff team I sure would rather have Balfour out there with the season on the line than Parnell.

mets2891
mets2891

I guess he wouldn't accept a minor league deal.

John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

Remember a starter going 6 innings and then having Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook come in for the 7th and 8th?

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

WFAN reported that the Mets offered him MORE but he chose to go with Tampa. Can you blame the guy? Another case of potentially damaged goods. Apparently we learned NOTHING from the Marcum signing last year. C'mon, Sandy, just bring back Mel Rojas and get it over with.

Mont5
Mont5

What's the big deal. Why are the Mets denying it. Play it off like your going to add a player.

Nick Catino
Nick Catino

The Mets didnt offer him anything. Do you actually think Sandy would offer 2 years to a relief pitcher? Nope. They only want to low ball everyone and hope someone takes a Minor League offer and invite them to spring training. Then when he pitches well they will say wow he throws great, then he pitches, gets hurt and you dont hear from him again.

John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

Would you trade Syndergaard and another top prospect (Montero, Puello, Flores, Nimmo, Smith) for Giancarlo Stanton?


By losing Syndergaard, your 2015 Starting Rotation is still: Harvey, Wheeler, Colon, Niese, Gee and then Montero (if not the other prospect), deGrom, Familia, Mazzoni...

Eileen Yiu
Eileen Yiu

@Bob G im ashamed to admit im a mets fan as well not because of the team but because of fans like you

Robby Johnson
Robby Johnson

@TurkWendell4Life The O's have made the postseason 3 times in the past 30 years.  It's best we do absolutely nothing like them.

Robby Johnson
Robby Johnson

Plenty of bullpen pieces in the organization already.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

I don't think so, it doesn't take much for a 6th starter to get massive starts in a season. Besides, it won't take long for the Brewers to realize he's really a good reliever.

Robby Johnson
Robby Johnson

@Brian Daley  I'm gonna sleep on this just to be sure, but I'm pretty confident this comment cements you as the absolute dumbest person to ever write words on this website.  And that's incredibly hard to do given knowledge level of most of the MetsBlog writers.


But like I said, I'm gonna sleep on this so don't go all crazy crowning yourself "King Moron" just yet.  I'll let you know.

Gland1
Gland1

@Brian Daley He can't speak to a FA because they used to play in Oakland?  He wasn't "dealt' to Tampa you know.



John Paul Cullinane
John Paul Cullinane

@Brian Daleyif you want facts and legit news, go to sportspyder dot com, choose mets, then choose news...it finds every real update/news article and continually updates it...pretty awesome.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@mets2891 I really don't think anyone believed anything they said about budget.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@1metfan If Parnell is healthy he is the least of the Mets' concerns this year.

lindro88
lindro88

If they actually did offer the same or more money, I'm sure they were guaranteeing him the closers role. No way the mets were giving anyone 12 million to set up for Bobby Parnell. Can't blame him for going to TB. They are a winning team right now and he's 37 years old.

lindro88
lindro88

Those were good times. Wendell throwing 25 straight sliders. He got a little odd when he wore a necklace of teeth from animals he killed, but he did have a couple of solid years.

lindro88
lindro88

Boy, Sandy can't win. Offer real $ for a good pitcher and get criticized. If Tampa feels good about him, that's good enough for me. They don't make Many mistakes.

lindro88
lindro88

Balfour's saying it. The Mets are denying it. Why so negative? The Mets have spent money this offseason. They didn't spend 503m but that's life.

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

@Nick Catino he gave 2 years to Frank Franc though...albeit to close (and i use the term CLOSE loosely when talking about that oaf)

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

@John Paul Cullinane no, because look at the money pitchers get. If wheeler, noah, and montero do what they're projected to (or what we HOPE they will do), we'll have 4 stud SPs at almost no cost. It's easier to sign a couple of nice bats than it is to spend over 25 million on a couple of aces on the free agent market. Even guys who aren't aces are looking for close to 100 million. By building the pitching, we're ahead of the curve when it comes to building a winner. You can always squeak out a couple of 2-1, 2-0 type wins with good pitching and defense. With subpar pitching, a 6 run lead isn't safe. 


just MY Opinion...


IF a couple of our young bats pan out, and we can sign another bat in the years to come, i see no reason why this future rotation cant anchor us to a world series birth, or multiple ones...

1metfan
1metfan

@Hodges14@1metfan So all this talk all winter about acquiring a veteran reliever with closers experience is for nothing? I think not. Give me Cruz and a closer that I trust and we can at least consider a possibility of a wildcard race.

Mont5
Mont5

I will rather see them try than not try.

lindro88
lindro88

You wouldn't trade Syndergaard in a deal for Stanton? I don't understand that thinking. Stanton is probably the best Young power hitter in the game. The Mets are starving for a player like him.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

I wouldn't. It's nit picking but I'm worried about Stanton...lots of knee issues some long term worries for a power guy. He'll probably be fine but I wouldn't trade Thor for him.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@mets2891 @Hodges14 The front office makes it worse because they don't know when to keep their mouths shut. 

The whole episode this winter with Ike and Tejada and last winter laughing about the outfield and then doing nothing to improve any of the situations is pretty lame.

I guess they're all new to the big city and don't realize every word they say is being recorded or listened to by someone.