Transitioning from the tough American League East to the much softer American League West proved to be an easy task for Oakland reliever Grant Balfourthis year. Balfour, who used to pitch against the Red Sox and Yankees as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, made a very nice transition to the AL West this year.
Oakland’s veteran reliever posted a 2.47 ERA in 62 appearances this season. He also recorded 59 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched this year as well. The A’s signed Balfour to a two-year deal prior to the start of the season, and so far, the deal looks like a home run for Oakland. The contract also includes an option for 2013.
In Balfour, the A’s have a solid veteran reliever who has a nice track record filled with success. The bullpen, like the team’s starting rotation, is an integral part of the organization’s success. Balfour is a guy who you can send out in eighth or ninth inning with the full confidence that he’ll get the job done.
He enjoyed a little more success at home this season, compiling a 1.80 ERA at home versus a 3.33 ERA on the road. The A’s, however, are probably satisfied with the job Balfour did overall this year. The A’s spent $8.1 million on him but, he’s certainly proved, with his numbers this year, that he was worth the investment.