Rays sign Grant Balfour to two-year deal

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran reliever is off the market now that he's signed with his old club.

Grant Balfour wasn't exactly a household name when he was traded from the Brewers to the Rays in 2007. Nowadays, he still isn't a household name, but since that trade the Australian right-hander has established himself as one of the most consistent relievers in the big leagues.

Balfour turned a successful four-year stint with the Rays into a three-year deal with Oakland. During his second year on the west coast, he transitioned into a closer role and has notched 62 of his 72 career saves over the past two seasons.

Today, Balfour has reached an agreement to return to the Rays, where he will probably be the closer if the team doesn't re-sign Fernando Rodney. Last year with Oakland, Balfour recorded 72 strikeouts and 27 walks in 62.2 innings with a 2.59 ERA.

With Mets closer Bobby Parnell seemingly on pace to be active on Opening Day, New York isn't exactly desperate for bullpen help. Just in case, though, here's a great breakdown of the remaining viable free agent relief pitchers (you'll have to manually cross off Balfour's name).

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