One way or the other, the Grant Balfour saga has unofficially come to an end ; for the time being that is. Balfour yesterday signed a reported $12 million contract for two years with – wait for it – Tampa. Of course he had a deal previously with the Baltimore Orioles that was later scraped due to concerns on Balfour’s physical. Obviously Tampa didn’t share the Orioles’ concerns, especially given that they gave Balfour the same contract term (two years) as the Orioles had previously offered. Granted the money is $1.5 million per year less, but that’s not something that’s breaking anyone’s bank.
This is a non-story type of story. After the way that the situation went down, it’s not overly surprising that Balfour would have signed with Tampa. In fact, it might even be possible that Tampa felt almost obligated to sign Balfour after their team doctor (Dr. Koko Eaton) made the comments he made in the wake of the deal with the Orioles breaking down. The O’s will face Tampa in the first of six series on April 14th. Time will tell who was right in this saga, however it seems to me that Balfour wasn’t getting the deal he thought he was due and he held out until he got as close to it as he could possibly get. He made it sound as if he could imminently go to several other teams at the time, when now we know that not to be true. But I hope that Orioles fans are happy for Balfour – he’s going to be closer to Dr. Eaton now!