Mets were in on Grant Balfour

After the Tampa Bay Rays reportedly inked relief ace Grant Balfour, baseball insider Ken Rosenthal tweeted this:

So, Sandy Alderson was interested in bolstering his bullpen with a veteran arm – we knew that. We just thought it would be someone like a David Aardsma or Joel Hanrahan, not an established closer like Balfour.

Speaking of closing, would Balfour have closed for the Mets or set up Bobby Parnell? Seems like the team would have wanted him as insurance in case Parnell wasn’t ready for Opening Day. And if Parnell was, Balfour would have handled the eighth inning.

I wonder if Balfour also took that into account when making his decision – I’m sure he wants to remain a closer.

It’s also interesting that the Mets were willing to spend more than $6 million AAV on a two-year deal. That suggests that they still have money to spend, despite the fact that they appear to be at or nearing their rumored payroll limit.

Perhaps they’ll spend that money on another reliever or two, or maybe (dare I say) Stephen Drew. The free agent shortstop seems to be less and less in demand, which should drive down his price. If he and his agent, Scott Boras, get desperate enough, they may even settle for a one-year deal.

Regardless, it sounds like the Mets are not done spending just yet.

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. murph January 23, 2014 at 5:00 pm
    I hope Bobby Parnell’s father doesn’t criticize the Mets for looking for a closer.
  2. Dan Capwell January 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm
    Mets are denying this.
  3. NormE January 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm
    If the Mets made a legitimate offer and were turned down for a good reason, that’s fine. Hopefully, someday the Mets will be the kind of team that players will want to join when they receive a fair offer. The Rays, not baseball’s biggest spenders, are a more attractive franchise in spite of playing in a smaller market with an unappealing ballpark.
  4. Izzy January 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm
    Very entertaining… Now we give credit to Alderson ans company for failing to sign a guy they were supposedly interested in. I guess itwas Minaya’s fault. When Alderson is gone will all you Aldersonistas turn on him or leave with him?
    • crozier January 24, 2014 at 10:38 am
      Izzy, I hear you keep a little list of Aldersonistas on your person. If true, I insist that you name names instead of perpetuating this tiresome innuendo. I mean seriously: have you no sense of decency, at long last, sir?

      And let me know what you charge for scrubbing my name from it. I’m tired of fending off reporters.

  5. pal88 January 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm
  6. DaveSchneck January 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm
    Regardless of the reason why Balfour preferred to pitch elsewhere, it means nothing to come in second on a free agent. Are Met fans supposed to rejoice that they were reportedly “in” on a legit bullpen arm? Reality is that even if it is true, they came up empty, there are limited to no comps to Balfour still available, and the Mets have a bullpen with a recovering closer with less than 1 year success, and a bunch of unproven unknown kids. So, it’s another Alderson swing and miss for those scoring at home. That’s a forward K, not a backwards one.
  7. Acoustic567 January 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm
    I think the point was that the offer to Balfour is evidence that the Mets have some $$ to spend still. That is better news than there being no $$ to spend.
    • argonbunnies January 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm
      Agreed. $ and some interest in spending it are both good signs.
  8. DanB January 24, 2014 at 10:13 am
    Really? Because the Mets are considering signing someone I should see it as a good sign? Let’s not talk about what they might do and talk about what they have done. They took a payroll in the top third of the league and cut that payroll every year, including this year, until the Mets were in the bottom third of the league in payroll. Along the way, they “were in on” or “considered signing” a lot of significant free agents but ultimately didn’t sign. I hope they have money to sign more players, too. But they have to prove it by signing someone for me to believe them.
  9. sonicbacon January 25, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    Thank God the Mets didn’t get Grant Balfour!

    I base that opinion strictly on his name and not his skills. I’m surprised that a guy named Grant Balfour became a pitcher. Next thing you know there is going to be a pitcher named Walt Emagin.