Sunday, December 22, 2013

After his two-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles fell through this past week, the Yankees are starting to show a renewed interest in free-agent closer Grant Balfour.

The Tampa Bay Rays are also said to be in on the soon-to-be 36-year-old.

The Yankees signed Matt Thornton last week to be the team's lefty specialist, and still need to add at least one more arm for the bullpen. With the cloud of uncertainty around David Robertson and whether they believe he can follow up Mariano Rivera and close next season, adding a closer hasn't been out of the question this winter.

Personally, I think that Robertson is capable of being the closer, and has earned the right to be the first choice next season, but bringing in someone experience like Balfour isn't the worst idea -- although it might not help Robertson's confidence.

Obviously with Balfour, you have to wonder if something might actually be wrong with him after the Orioles said they didn't like what they saw during his physical, even though multiple doctors have said that Balfour is fine, and there is nothing wrong with his shoulder.

Balfour saved 38 games for the Oakland Athletics last season while posting an ERA of 2.59. Health has not been an issue throughout his career, as he has pitched at least 55 innings in each of the past six seasons.

It'll be very interesting to see if the Yankees -- or even the Rays -- can get a deal done with Balfour, because you know the first time he gets a save in Baltimore will be quite the show to watch, with him being as emotional as he is.

However, even if the Yankees are interested, the upcoming $189 million luxury tax cap is almost within reach, and you would have to guess that the Yankees are going to wait to see if Masahiro Tanaka is posted, and what is going to happen with Alex Rodriguez.



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