May 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Grant Balfour (50) delivers to the plate during the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
This year’s bullpen has been disastrous for Oakland. Well actually, just a couple of them. But you can read more about that here.
Getting straight to the point, Oakland needs new relievers. or maybe old ones.
First, let’s look at how to get rid of Luke Gregerson. It’s obvious he needs to go. He has 4 blown saves in 7 tries, and he is the reason the Athletics had their win streak snapped.
Eric O’Flaherty is coming up soon. His recovery is ahead of schedule, as he is on track to return in June. He is going to be a great addition, and may just be what the bullpen needs to close out games and secure the wins that the starting rotation sets the team up for.
When O’Flaherty returns, someone is going to have to go down to Triple-A. That means the perfect opportunity to get Gregerson off the roster. I really hope this happens, because I am tired of having the Athletics go late into games with a lead only to lose it and the game with it because Gregerson couldn’t stop the runners from crossing home plate.
So that is the most likely option the Athletics have to get Gregerson off the roster.
Now for the exciting one. How to get Jim Johnson off the roster.
If you don’t follow the MLB in general, then here’s the situation. The Tampa Bay Rays started the season as strong contenders, but after losing two of their pitchers to injuries, they have started reeling and fast. Their star ace, David Price hasn’t had the greatest season so far, although he was truly looking like an ace in his last start against the Mariners.
So what does that have to do with anything? Well, when teams lose hope for getting into the postseason, they look to trade some players for future talent. Who is on the Tampa Bay Rays that could come in and close games?
I’ll give you a hint. He really knows how to get fans riled up. You could say he gets them into quite the rage…
That’s right, Grant Balfour.
If the Tampa Bay Rays start to shop some of their players around, the Athletics could ask about Grant Balfour.
The Athletics need a proven closer, and who is more proven than the guy who broke the franchise record for most consecutive saves?
If Billy Beane can pull those moves off, especially the Grant Balfour one, the season will get a whole lot better. We need Balfour to close out games. A bullpen without a true closer is asking for disaster. Balfour is already a fan favorite, bringing him back would be the best choice Beane makes all season.