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January 24, 2014

Transaction Analysis

Balfour Got Back

by R.J. Anderson and Alex Kantecki


TAMPA BAY RAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Signed RHP Grant Balfour to a two-year deal worth $12 million. [1/23]
Designated LHP Pedro Figueroa for assignment. [1/23]

This is the second time this offseason we've covered a Balfour signing. The first came in mid-December, when word surfaced the Orioles and Balfour had agreed on a two-year deal worth $15 million. The words "pending a physical" accompany most signings, and sometimes result in restructuring (either the deal or the deal's language), but they seldom sabotage a reported deal. That's what happened with Balfour and the Orioles, however, as Baltimore doctors were concerned about the Australian native's wrist and knee.

Five hours after Balfour canceled his flight to Baltimore, the Rays were reported as a potential suitor. It was a logical development beyond the obvious connection between the team and player. Not only had Andrew Friedman done his due diligence by contacting Balfour's camp earlier in the offseason, but team physician Koko Eaton came to the reliever's defense after the flunked physical. Fast forward a month, and the Rays spent Thursday afternoon re-introducing Balfour as their closer at a Tampa museum.

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