Mets, Rays had identical offer for Balfour

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
3:16
PM ET
Grant Balfour, who signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to close games, had an identical offer on the table from the Mets, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

A Mets official disputed to the New York Post a similar report by Fox's Ken Rosenthal.

Balfour chose the Rays because they were closer to his Clearwater, Fla., home, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

Balfour went 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and 38 saves in 65 relief appearances for the Oakland Athletics last season.

The Mets' offer suggests they do have payroll flexibility under the right circumstances. The payroll currently stands at about $87 million.

The offer also underscores how, despite the optimism, it is not fully known how Bobby Parnell will recover from herniated disk surgery.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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