Grant Balfour rumors: Yankees, Tigers among several teams interested in FA closer

Ezra Shaw

With no qualifying offer tethering him down, the Aussie hurler is having no trouble drumming up interest on the open market.

Free-agent closer Grant Balfour is drawing early interest from the Yankees, Tigers and a handful of other clubs, a source has told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Balfour, 35, is primed to be one of the most sought-after relief pitchers on the open market this winter. In addition to New York and Detroit, the veteran right-hander has already attracted the eye of the Angels, Rockies and the Rays.

While Balfour had a few solid seasons as a seventh-inning guy with Tampa Bay, the Aussie right-hander really came into his own when named the Oakland A's closer at the start of 2012. In the two years since joining the ranks of "proven closer," Balfour has converted 62 saves while posting a 2.56 ERA and better than a strikeout per frame in 137⅓ innings.

He even broke the A's record for consecutive saves in the middle of the 2013 season, besting Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley's decades-old mark of 40 straight. Balfour eventually came down to earth at the end of July -- blowing a save against the Houston Astros, of all teams -- but still finished the season strong.

As Balfour was not extended a qualifying offer by the A's -- Billy Beane never overpays for relievers -- interested clubs can bid away for his services without any concern for losing one of their 2014 draft picks. Balfour made $4.5 million this past season, but is likely to get a hefty raise in free agency.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Goldman: Was George Steinbrenner a Hall of Famer?

MLB trade rumors | Tigers could move Max Scherzer

A buyer's guide to free agent position players

Leyland’s legacy: Changing the baseball culture in Detroit

How to fix the: Twins | Marlins | Astros | Cubs

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.