Grant Balfour was hoping his second stint with the Rays would be more successful than his first, but the veteran right-handed reliever was designated for assignment on Saturday. Tampa Bay is fully prepared to eat the remainder of his $7 million salary.
Balfour posted a 2-6 record and 4.91 ERA last season to begin a two-year, $12 million deal. He acknowledged he "didn't have the same fastball," according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, and Balfour was surprised after returning to Tampa following a successful stint in Oakland.
AL East News & Rumors 4/19
- Even after he was designated for assignment, Grant Balfour will be one of the more memorable Rays, according to DRays Bay.
- Toronto selected the contract of Jeff Francis, and in the corresponding move optioned Colt Hynes to Triple-A. Francis has struggled over the course of the last three seasons, but Toronto had a spot on the 40-man roster designating Todd Redmond for assignment.
- Both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts have progressed, however some scouts believe Bogaerts has All-Star potential according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Betts' stock has risen over the last few months, too, though.
- Justin Schoop may be out for a bit after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. Schoop was diagnosed with a PCL tear and MCL sprain after awkwardly crossing first base in Friday's contest against the Red Sox.
- Baltimore was not happy with Clay Buchholz's pace on the mound, and changes may be coming. Major League Baseball will begin looking into pace-of-play scenarios later this season.
- Alex Rodriguez has been surprised by his start to the season, and is notably pleased with how his body feels.
- Henry Owens has had command trouble early. He was plagued by a big inning, but is it time to panic?
AL Central Standings 4/19