Balfour acknowledges he may not be with A's next season
OAKLAND – Two of the A’s biggest offseason decisions will revolve around closer Grant Balfour and center fielder Coco Crisp, and each gave different impressions of how they think things will play out.
Balfour, who notched 38 saves and will become a free agent, sounded like a man already bracing for his next baseball landing spot. He was asked for his thoughts regarding his future after a 3-0 loss to Detroit that eliminated the A’s from the American League Division Series.
“I’m just gonna let that stuff play itself out,” said Balfour, 35, who spent the last three seasons with Oakland. “I feel like I’ve gone out there and given everything I had here for three years. Now I’m a free agent again, and this possibly could be my last game for the A’s right there.”
That’s not to say the Aussie doesn’t want to remain in green and gold.
“You always wanna be here,” Balfour said. “I enjoy my time here. I love the guys. The coaching staff has been good to me, given me the opportunity. But you never know what they’re gonna do. It’s baseball. Just enjoy the time off for a little while and see where the ball lands, right?”
The A’s hold a $7.5 million club option on Crisp that includes a $1 million buyout. The switch-hitting leadoff man hit .261 with 22 homers and 66 RBI to go with 21 stolen bases. Those numbers don’t wholly reflect Crisp’s value to the team over the past two years. He’s often cited by manager Bob Melvin and teammates as the engine that truly makes the A’s go.
Crisp, who turns 34 on Nov. 1, does not hide his desire to return to the A’s for a fifth season. But he added that he’d love to sign a multi-year deal.
“I’ve always stated my comfort here,” he said. “It’d be nice if they enhanced the years in (a contract) and kept me here for a while. The ball’s in their court. I enjoy playing here.”
Another development has flown under the radar: The A’s hold an $8 million option for 2014 on left-hander Brett Anderson, with a $1.5 million buyout. It seems that decision will come quickly.
According to baseballprospectus.com, Anderson’s contract states that the A’s must exercise or decline his options within 10 days of the end of the previous season.