Rays agree to deal with closer Balfour

The Sports NetworkJanuary 23, 2014 

St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year deal with closer Grant Balfour on Thursday.

The pact, which was first reported by Fox Sports, is expected to pay the former Oakland closer $12 million over two years.

Balfour, of course, reached an agreement on an apparent 2-year, $15 million deal with Baltimore earlier this offseason, but they backed out of deal due to issues with his throwing shoulder.

Balfour, who missed the entire 2006 season recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum recorded a career-high 38 saves for the A's last season and went 1-3 with a 2.59 earned run average in 65 relief appearances.

Over three seasons in Oakland, the 35-year-old right-hander went 9-7 with a 2.53 ERA while racking up 64 of his 72 career saves. he also appeared in at least 62 games in each of those seasons.

The Australian-born Balfour owns a career 28-17 record with a 3.27 ERA and 514 strikeouts in 463 games with one start over 10 seasons with Minnesota, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and Oakland.

Balfour was 14-7 with a 3.33 ERA in four seasons with the Rays from 2007-10.

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