The Grant Balfour sweepstakes?
It’s a contest that could heat up as the MLB season inches closer to the trade deadline. The Oakland Athletics aren’t expected to contend in the AL West this season and don’t show solid promise of being a surprise team, having been shut out four times but also recording four shutout wins.
Balfour, who was made the Oakland closer after Andrew Bailey was traded to Boston over the winter, boasts a 0.82 ERA and has recorded five saves almost a month into regular season. ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney said via Twitter on Monday that Balfour would be the best relief pitcher to trade for right now.
Who’s more than likely to give A’s General Manager Billy Beane a call sometime to try to grab the 34-year-old Australian? Here are five teams that are expected to be postseason contenders who might be desperate for a good reliever down the stretch.