STL Open Mic: B-Mitch talks with David Ortiz
While the rumors linking the Nationals to free agent Grant Balfour provided for a great offseason debate this week, the 36-year-old closer has opted to instead sign with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Balfour has received a two-year deal worth $12 million, not far off the contract the Orioles backed out of after finding red flags in his physical.
The Nationals were tied to Balfour by FoxSports.com who may have revealed a new roster need for the team. They have two closers who have saved 43 games apiece for the franchise in recent years - Rafael Soriano and Drew Storen - but they still may covet an upgrade.
Washington checked in on Balfour after a December deal he had with the Orioles fell through. After agreeing to terms, Baltimore found issues with his wrist and knee, enough to scare them out of completing the two-year, $15 million pact. Now Balfour will stay in the American League East, giving him up to 19 chances to face the team he almost joined.
Balfour was introduced by the Rays in a press conference just hours after the news became public on Thurdsay.