The Mets have publicly indicated all offseason they would spend cheaply on their bullpen. That may not have been exactly truthful.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Mets made a higher offer to reliever Grant Balfour than the Rays. Balfour ultimately signed with the Rays for two years, $12 million. Rosenthal says Balfour preferred to be closer to his home in Clearwater, Florida.
Mike Puma says, however, that the Mets did not offer Balfour more, and although they did have dialogue with Balfour's reps, they would have needed to be "real creative" to sign him. Adam Rubin provided a third take, saying the Mets offered Balfour the same amount of money as the Rays, but that Balfour wanted to live in Florida.
Over the past four seasons, Balfour has posted a 2.47 ERA/3.25 FIP/3.61 xFIP in 254.2 innings with the Rays and Athletics, striking out 259 (25.5%) while walking 92 (9.1%), and allowing 22 homers. Regardless of which report is true, the very fact that the Mets even spoke with Balfour is interesting. It would indicate that they're not completely out of money, and that they may not have full confidence in Bobby Parnell as their closer.