Grant Balfour, Tampa Bay Rays Agree to Two-Year Contract


The Tampa Bay Rays and free-agent closer Grant Balfour have reached an agreement on a two-year contract, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

The Rays confirmed the two-year, $12 million contract Thursday afternoon.

Balfour was believed to have a two-year, $15 million contract in place with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this offseason, but that deal fell apart because of concerns over the right-hander’s physical. Balfour seemingly will replace Fernando Rodney, who currently is a free agent, as the Rays’ closer in 2014.

Balfour saved 38 games while earning an All-Star selection with the Oakland Athletics in 2013. The 36-year-old also recorded 24 saves in 2012 and has posted a 2.53 ERA over the last three seasons with the A’s.

Balfour, known as one of baseball’s most fiery competitors, has pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers and Rays over the course of his 10-year career.

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