Rays release Grant Balfour for the second time this season

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Last month the Rays released right-hander Grant Balfour from his $7 million big-league contract and then re-signed him to a minor-league deal, but now the veteran reliever has opted out of that contract and been granted his release from Triple-A.

Balfour pitched well at Triple-A, throwing 9.2 innings with a 2.48 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio, but he was apparently convinced the Rays had no plans to call him back up to the majors and at age 37 he didn’t want to keep playing for Durham.

Balfour has lost a lot of velocity since his peak as a shutdown late-inning reliever, leaving him with mediocre raw stuff and poor control, so it’s possible he’ll simply decide to retire rather than fight for a middle relief gig somewhere else.