ST. LOUIS -- A few hours after they designated him for assignment, the Brewers traded right-handed reliever Grant Balfour to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday for Seth McClung, a right-hander with Major League experience who was immediately optioned to Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers were forced to part with Balfour, who was out of Minor League options, because they needed roster space Friday for another reliever, Scott Linebrink, whom they acquired in a trade with San Diego on Wednesday. Linebrink had a family engagement that kept him from joining the Brewers until Friday afternoon. In three Brewers appearances, Balfour was 0-2 with a 20.25 ERA. It was a disappointing showing for the former Minnesota Twins reliever who underwent two major surgeries in 2005 but worked his way back to the Majors after posting a 1.87 ERA in 32 Minor League games before his Brewers promotion.
"It didn't really go as planned," Balfour said. Losing Balfour was not ideal, conceded Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who worked hard over the winter to bolster the team's pitching depth. Because Balfour had no remaining options, the Brewers were limited in what they could do. "He was a guy I was thinking about counting on for next year," Melvin said. "You look at other team's bullpens, and that's the kind of arm that teams get and, all of a sudden, they find it. It clicks." McClung, 26, pitched in 85 games for Tampa Bay from 2003-2006 with a 6.28 ERA. He has a 1.99 ERA in 40 appearances this season for Triple-A Durham.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.