MLB Trade Speculation: Grant Balfour to D-Backs Would Fill Bullpen Need

James Sargent@@SargentsOrdersContributor IIIJuly 8, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 22:  Grant Balfour #50 of the Oakland A's looks to first base before throwing a pitch against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on May 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  The Giants won 5-4.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen has been rock solid compared to last season, but I think they are missing just one piece.

Bullpen help is the most important trade deadline need, followed by a first baseman. The emergence of both Gerardo Parra and Ryan Roberts have stopped the needs of acquiring a left fielder or third baseman.

Recently, right-hander Yhency Brazoban and left-hander Alberto Castillo were called up from Triple-A Reno, but if they cannot provide the facelift that general manager Kevin Towers is looking for, reinforcements could be coming soon.

David Hernandez has done a fabulous job filling in for J.J. Putz at closer. But once Putz returns, Hernandez will most likely go back into his setup role in the eighth inning. Both have been terrific this season and help isn't necessarily needed for the eighth or ninth innings. Instead, it's the seventh inning that has been causing problems.

The Diamondbacks should consider giving the Oakland Athletics a call and ask about Grant Balfour, who was just was activated from the disabled list.

Balfour is experienced and can pitch the seventh, eighth or ninth innings if needed. He is having a good season, posting a 2.48 ERA through 32.2 innings with 35 strikeouts. His WHIP also stands at 1.16.

Balfour is at his best when runners are in scoring position, as opponents' batting average stands at a mere .136. For the season, batters are held to a .198 average.

To acquire Balfour would be very interesting, seeing that Towers came out and said he will not give up any prospects at the trade deadline.

The A's are in need of bats, since they are one of the worst hitting teams, so a possible D-Backs bench player could be added into this speculated deal.

As the trade deadline approaches, it will be very interesting to see what rumors start to spread for players and their possible destinations.