Dec 10, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT
It sounds like Baltimore has zeroed in on its preferred Jim Johnson replacement, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “trying to get a deal done” with former A’s closer Grant Balfour.
Balfour didn’t get a chance to be a closer until age 33, but he’s saved 62 games with a 2.56 ERA and 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings during the past two seasons while holding opponents to a .182 batting average.
Based on just about everything except save totals–which are inherently iffy as an evaluation tool–Balfour represents an upgrade over Johnson and perhaps a pretty sizable upgrade at that.
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