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Rays designate former closer Grant Balfour for assignment

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Designated for Assignment

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former closer Grant Balfour, still under contract for $7M this season, has been designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Balfour has not been his former self over the last calendar year, and this evening made his sixth appearance on the season, garner just two outs while being credited for three runs.

While those were the only runs he had allowed this season, it was a frustrating performance.

Balfour entered the game with runners at first and second and one out on the board, following a rough outing from rookie C.J. Reifenhauser. There was a need to lock down the game and prevent more bleeding, but Balfour walked Alex Rodriguez to load the bases.

Mark Teixeira knowed one home on a sac-fly, but he hit Brian McCann to re-load the bases, then allowed a grand slam to Chris Young. Balfour would walk two more befoe he got the second out he was called in for. A frustrating night to say the least.

Here is Balfour's reaction to his demotion, courtesy of Sports Talk Florida:

"Maybe I need the rest, maybe it will do me a world of good," Balfour said about his fastball, "because I don't hurt."

With the Rays in a hard press through the next three weeks, all against AL East opponents, the Rays are clearly prioritizing their best foot forward. In his stead, previously designated Brandon Gomes will get the promotion after a strong showing in Spring Training.

"Who knows, maybe someone will pick me up."