Rizzo on Balfour, backup catching situation

By Bill Ladson

WASHINGTON — Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo spoke to the local media at Saturday’s NatsFest and he acknowledged that the team had interest in reliever Grant Balfour, who recently signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Rays. Rizzo said Balfour wanted to be closer to home .

“We thought there was a value there. I think sleeping in his own bed and being near his home over road what we were trying to get for him,” Rizzo said.

Had the Nationals acquired Balfour, they most likely would have traded reliever Drew Storen, who said he was not bothered by the trade rumors this offseason.

“You don’t take it personally, it part of it. It’s flattering that other teams want you, too,” Storen said.  “You look at it from all angles. [The Nationals] are a great team. Obviously, I don’t want to go anywhere. It’s just part of the business. Nothing new.”

Meanwhile Rizzo hasn’t ruled out acquiring a backup catcher. The Nationals are looking for someone who can fill just in case the starter, Wilson Ramos, misses a lot of time because of injury.

“If a backup catcher fits what we are trying to do and becomes available, we would certainly look into it,” Rizzo said.

The Nationals are looking for a guy who can drive in runs. As of now, Sandy Leon,  Jhonatan Solano,  Chris Snyder  are battling for the backup  role. All were not impressive in the batter’s box last year.

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