Balfour will draw a lot of interest on the July 31 trade deadline. He will become a free agent next season if Oakland doesn’t pick up his $4.5 million option (spotrac). Balfour is affordable and plays for a team that may be out of contention in July.
Big-market teams (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox) already have seen their closers go down and Billy Beane could get a team desperate for bullpen help to overpay for Balfour.
Balfour has pitched, and pitched effectively, in the AL East in the past. That makes him an intriguing option for the Red Sox and Yankees.
Balfour has posted a 4.40 ERA, with seven saves in 15 games.
Oakland is playing well right now sitting in second place in the AL West. But overcoming the Rangers and the struggling Angels most likely will prove to be too much for the light-hitting A’s.
If Oakland begins to struggle there’s a strong possibility we’ll see Balfour in pinstripes by the trade deadline (ESPN).