Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
#Athletics, reliever Grant Balfour close to multiyear deal, source tells FOXSports.com.
There's no word out on the money involved, but we all know how much the Rays don't like giving multi-year contracts to relievers. It's most likely that Balfour is getting a pretty impressive payday here, and if so, good for him. I'll always remember Balfour's many spectacular moments with the Rays, especially this one from the 2008 playoffs.
If this report is true, it means the Rays will be stuck receiving Oakland's second-round pick, seeing as their first round pick is protected (h/t Jason Collette). We'll still receive a supplementary first-round pick, bringing our final total to 10 first round draft picks. This could be an exciting draft year.
I was personally hoping Balfour might come back, but there's no reason to panic. Jon Rauch is still sitting there on the market, forgotten and neglected, and we may yet be able to snag him. Fingers crossed!