Balfour went 3-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 24 saves and 75 appearances across 74 2-3 innings
Grant Balfour who emerged as the Oakland A’s closer converting 24 saves with a 2.53 ERA in 75 innings will be coming back to the A’s bullpen next season. Oakland has exercised its 2013 option on Balfour, bringing the right-hander back for $4.5 million.
“It’s great,” Balfour said. “I would like to stay longer. Hopefully we can work something out. I believe we are young and have a lot of good times ahead for the Oakland organization and the fans.”
The A’s decline their half of the $10 million mutual option for shortstop Stephen Drew. Drew receives a $1.35 million buyout, although assistant general manager David Forst said the team would continue to negotiate and try and sign him to another deal. Drew, acquired in an August trade with Arizona to bolster Oakland’s offense, batted .250 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 39 regular-season games for the A’s.
In other news the team signed Mike Ekstrom to a minor-league deal today. Ekstrom spent most of 2012 at Triple-A Colorado Springs with the Rockies, posting a 2.53 ERA while striking out 57 over 57 innings.