Slusser: Yankees have interest in Grant Balfour

What Went Right: Hiroki Kuroda
Wednesday Night Open Thread

Via Susan Slusser: The Yankees are one of several teams with interest in free agent right-hander Grant Balfour. The Athletics did not make their closer a qualifying offer, so he will not cost a draft pick to sign. Bullpen-needy teams like Tigers, Rockies, Angels, and Rays are also said to be in the mix.

Balfour, 36 next month, pitched to a 2.59 ERA (3.49 FIP) in 62.2 innings while going 38-for-41 in save chances this season. He misses bats (10.34 K/9 and 27.5 K%) but walks a few too many (3.88 BB/9 and 10.3 BB%), gives up homers (1.01 HR/9 and 11.1% HR/FB), and is fly ball prone (37.9% grounders). The Yankees could use a veteran late-inning reliever to replace Mariano Rivera and I loved the idea of signing Balfour a few months ago, but I think his huge season may have pushed him out of New York’s price range. He’s a definite fit though.

What Went Right: Hiroki Kuroda
Wednesday Night Open Thread
  • will

    hi flyball pitcher is a fit now? how desperate are we ?>

    • Mike Axisa

      Not every fly ball is a fly ball to the warning track. Rafael Soriano was more fly ball prone.

      • Jimmy

        I think the Phil Hughes experience has everyone running for the door when they see “fly ball prone”

    • jjyank

      Yankees interested in a good relief pitcher. They must be so desperate.

      *head desk*

    • JGYank

      If I pitched in Oakland, I wouldn’t have mind giving up fly balls in that park. I’m sure he could adjust and get more grounders if he wanted to. Looking at his k rate, he seems to go for Ks instead of trying to get grounders so as long as he can strike guys out, he should be fine even if he regresses a little bit.

  • CashmanNinja

    I think Robertson would do just fine in the closer role, but either way we’d still need bullpen help — either a closer or a setup guy. If Balfour would come cheap enough then I’d be all for him, but I have a feeling he’s going to want a 2-3 year offer at a pretty hefty price. If that’s the case then it’d probably be best if we didn’t get him, but if we could get him at a reasonable deal then I’m all for it. I just don’t want them to throw money at at a pitcher who is more big name than a good fit for this bullpen.

  • Weeks

    Why the hell would they wanna bring in Balfour???

    No, Cashman, just NO.

    • WillSmythe

      Balfour doesn’t have to close. Any team could use a decent relief pitcher, including the Yankees. I don’t understand Axisa’s comment that he’s “out of the Yankees price range”? That’s the question…Something is out of the Yankees price range??? Boy, I guess times HAVE changed!!

  • hogsmog

    Seems to me like they can find good enough help without paying closer money since DRob seems destined for that role anyway. If he is, signing another closer could backfire, too- remember how Soriano sucked until he started filling in for Rivera?

  • Max

    Nice pitcher. Too expensive. Next.

  • dars

    Fucking Yankee Management! Since when is a player too expensive or price out for the Yankees. They are cheap, I will be cheap. I am not setting foot at a game or buying a piece of merchandise until I see a commitment by ownership to field a competitive team. The team exists because of the fans, if they are going to short change us, we will do the same thing. It is not our fault that they committed the mistake of signing ARod and Sabathia and Teixeira to contracts no one else would have given them….

  • Nathan

    They’ll need someone to take over the DRob’s 8th inning. As long as it doesn’t break the bank, might as well get a good setup man.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    “Out of Yankees price range”. Wow, those are still words that I can not get used to reading. Especially when you consider that, imo, this guy will get 2, 3 years max a 8/9 per (maybe). If NY can sign him to 2 years, 16 to 18mm, I think they’d have to “find” the money to do it.

  • Tom

    Depeding on Price Belfore would be a good pickup to either be closer or set up man to Robertson.

    He also has experience pitching in the AL east with Tampa

  • Chasing Headley

    I would love to see Victor Martinez catch him on the Tigers.

  • Chris z

    but I think his huge season may have pushed him out of New York’s price range. He’s a definite fit though

    How times have changed