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Yankees rumors: Grant Balfour drawing interest from New York

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Ezra Shaw

The Athletics' 2013 closer Grant Balfour is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees, as free agency is fully underway. Other interested teams, according to SFGate, include the Tigers, Rockies, Angels, and Rays. Balfour set an Oakland record for consecutive saves in 2013 after converting 44 straight.

With the retirement of Mariano Rivera, it had been presumed that the Yankees would give setup man David Robertson the first crack at becoming the regular closer in 2014. That may still happen, but it also seems likely that the team might decide to bring it some veteran closing experience to at least challenge Robertson for the job. Their reported interest in Balfour seems to indicate that they don't really plan to just hand the job over to Robertson without testing as many options as possible.

For a free agent reliever, Robertson's presence on the Yankees may put a damper on their interest. Former closers are going to want to find a job with the prestige of being the one to close games in 99.9% of situations and Robertson being Rivera's heir apparent might have them looking for another team instead. If Plan 189 is real, and that's still very much up for discussion, then paying closer money to a setup man like they did with Rafael Soriano would be quite foolish. They either think Robertson can handle the duties or they don't. Giving him some competition is fine, but it shouldn't come at too high of a price tag.

Would you be interested in the Yankees signing Grant Balfour? Do you trust David Robertson as the future closer, or hope that they bring in someone with more 9th inning experience?

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