Sep 12, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Grant Balfour (50) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Grant Balfour signed with Rays over Nationals due to location

After a whirlwind of an offseason, closer Grant Balfour finally has a home – this after agreeing to a two-year, $12 million dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this week. It’s Balfour’s second stint in the Rays organization.

The addition of Balfour came somewhat of a shock considering earlier in the week we had heard the Washington Nationals had expressed relatively heavy interest in Balfour, who had signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles in free agency before the deal was eventually voided due to a failed physical.

However no deal was struck with the Nationals, who according to Adam Kilgore offered a contract nearly identical to the one Balfour signed in Tampa Bay. So why the Rays over the Nationals? Proximity to home, a defined closing role and no tax.

Was told the Nats’ offer was similar to Rays’ two-year, $12 million deal. Balfour chose proximity to home, definite chance to close, no tax.

Both the Nationals and Rays should be fighting for a playoff spot this season, so when it came down to the other factors, it appeared to be an easy decision.

Tags: Grant Balfour Tampa Bay Rays Washington Nationals

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