Is Grant Balfour Worth 2.1 Million?

By Dustin Staggers

Monday the Rays avoided arbitration with Grant Balfour by agreeing to a 1 year 2.1 million dollar contract with the right handed flame thrower.

The Rays need all the bullpen arms we can muster up at this point, but bringing back Balfour at 2.1 million, making him the 7th highest paid player on a team that only has a 52 million dollar payroll as of this post is a little questionable to me.  The only players that make more money on the Rays are Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, Pat Burell, Rafael Soriano, Dan Wheeler, James Shields and Dioner Navarro.   If the Rays can move Dan Wheeler than the salary makes a little more sense, but if not, some of the young arms in AAA probably deserve more of a shot than paying Balfour 2.1 million.

Balfour really only had one effective stretch in June and July and was abysmal for the other 4.5 months of the year.

At reduced salaries, Winston Abreu and Jeremy Hellickson would seem like more viable options with higher upside to me. At this point though, the Rays need as many bullpen arms as we can muster up, so for now, I’ll deal with the inflated salary for a pitcher with one pitch.