Orioles trade Jim Johnson to A's
The 30-year-old Johnson, who converted 50 of 59 opportunities and tied Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the major league lead in saves this past season, was emotional about leaving Baltimore.
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"It actually just hit me five minutes ago," Johnson told MLB.com and MASNSports.com on Tuesday morning, pausing periodically to collect himself. "Really, I'm not like this. Obviously, watching the changes [in the organization] in the last couple of years being a big part of it. ...
"It's been great playing there and for all my teammates, and watching that city transform the last couple years, I take great pride in that. Obviously, I have great memories looking back."
Johnson, who joined the Orioles in 2006, was 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA last season. He also led the majors with 51 saves and was an All-Star in 2012.
Meanwhile, the AL West champion Athletics have found their closer to replace All-Star Grant Balfour, who became a free agent after the season.
Although general manager Billy Beane had confidence he could have filled the ninth-inning duties from within, he was able to find Balfour's replacement via trade -- a common December practice for the GM and low-budget club.
The A's fortified their rotation Monday, as well, reaching a two-year, $22 million agreement with free-agent left-hander Scott Kazmir, sources told ESPN's Jim Bowden and Buster Olney.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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