According to Chris Cotillo and Ken Rosenthal the Washington Nationals are interested in Grant Balfour. Balfour, the former Oakland Athletic was denied a contract by the Baltimore Orioles because of something wrong with his wrist. Now the Nationals are in on him to be a late inning option in 2014. That may mean letting go of Drew Storen…
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 19, 2014
If the Nationals were to let go of Drew Storen Balfour would take over the eighth inning in all likelihood giving Tyler Clippard the 7th and leaving Rafael Soriano for the 9th. This move could also give the Nationals insurance in case something does happen and Soriano can’t close games with consistency.
The Australian has closed 24 and 38 games the last two seasons respectively. He also has great strikeout to walk rates. He is just like most closers, and makes you sweat out the ninth by allowing a base runner or two in a lot of appearances.
He has been good for Oakland, so why not give him a chance if you can get him cheap. He is a free-agent that has failed a physical, he can’t ask for too much money at this point. If the Nationals do get Balfour they are said to be willing to trade Storen. If that is true, Rizzo could be looking for more outfield depth, or possibly stacking up on more Minor League talent for the future. The best option would be to trade Storen for a left-handed reliever and make this a very solid bullpen in the late innings. We will keep you updated as this becomes more official.