Originally written on MyTeamRivals.com  |  Last updated 8/26/14
Coming into this season, both Oakland Athletics RHP Grant Balfour and Detroit Tigers RHP Joaquin Benoit were considered important pieces to their teams respective bullpens. While the Tigers seemed indecisive in regards to who their closer was going to be, Benoit was not considered to be the favorite to pitch in the 9th inning to finish games. His best success had come as a set up man, where he had a breakout season for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010. He had a very good season in 2007 as a reliever for the Texas Rangers, before arm injuries put him out of action. Balfour took over the Athletics closer job last season for RHP Ryan Cook. Similar to Benoit, Balfour broke out in 2010 with Tampa Bay; his second very good season out of the pen in three seasons (2008). In addition to being let go as free agents by Tampa Bay, Benoit and Balfour have more in common. Both signed 3 year contracts coming off the season in Tampa, with Benoit getting $16.5 million from Detroit and Balfour gettin...
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