The A’s and right-handed reliever Grant Balfour have agreed on a two-year deal, pending a physical, according to a Major League source.
The 33-year-old Balfour, an Australian native, posted a 2.28 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while averaging 9.1 strikeouts and 2.8 walks per nine innings over 55 1/3 frames for the Rays last year.
Balfour is classified as a Type A free agent, so Oakland — whose first-round pick is protected — will have to hand over a second-round pick to the Rays.
His presence represents a continuing offseason attempt by the A’s to bolster the depth of their bullpen, whose injury woes down the stretch last season proved costly. Andrew Bailey, Jerry Blevins and Michael Wuertz were all sidelined for an extended time during that period.