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Nationals interested in Balfour

Washington is apparently in the mix to land the veteran reliever.


The Washington Nationals are looking at free agent reliever Grant Balfour, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The 36-year-old reliever would join a solid bullpen that already features three potential ninth inning options in Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, and Rafael Soriano. Were Balfour to head to Washington, it could give the club enough flexibility to move one of their excess relievers, likely Storen.

Balfour had agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this offseason, but the O's called it off, citing health concerns. Balfour has been adamant in asserting that he is completely healthy.

A native of Sydney, Australia, Balfour has spent the past three years in Oakland, where he emerged as one of the better ninth inning options in the game. An All-Star in 2013, Balfour had a 2.53 ERA during his tenure in Oakland, as he converted 64 of a possible 74 save opportunities.

Adding Balfour would allow the Nationals to look into moving Storen, who is coming off a down season (84 ERA+) and is set to earn nearly $3.5 million this year. Washington will also likely try to limit Soriano's innings pitched in 2014 in order to keep his vesting option from vesting, which gives even more sense to the idea of Washington adding another top-flight reliever.