O's, Grant Balfour agree on deal
Grant Balfour vs. Jim Johnson
The Orioles moved Jim Johnson to Oakland earlier this offseason, primarily as a cost move. Now that Grant Balfour (right) is in Baltimore's picture, a 2013 comparison of the closers:
|IP||70 1/3||62 2/3|
|2014 salary (approx.)||$10.5M||$7.5M|
The deal is reportedly for $14 million with an additional $500,000 in deferred money each year, according to multiple media reports.
Balfour, a 35-year-old Australia native, went 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA and 38 saves last season with the Oakland Athletics. Once he joins the Orioles, he will take over as closer for Jim Johnson, who was traded to Oakland for second baseman Jemile Weeks and minor league catcher David Freitas earlier this month.
Balfour's agreement with Baltimore leaves Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, Joel Hanrahan, Jesse Crain, Andrew Bailey, Chris Perez and Kevin Gregg as the most notable free-agent closers still looking for jobs.
Information from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick was used in this report.
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Giving James Shields a long-term contract for big money wouldn't be a good idea.