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Orioles have a multi-year deal on the table with Grant Balfour

Dec 12, 2013, 9:15 PM EDT

Division Series - Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers - Game Three Getty Images

MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli confirmed a report that the Orioles have put a multi-year contract offer on the table with free agent closer Grant Balfour. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that a team has offered him a third-year vesting option, but it’s not the Orioles. He also adds that the right-hander has a two-year offer from three different teams.

Relievers have started to fall off the board, so teams are starting to get their ducks in a row. Along with the Orioles’ interest in Balfour, the Padres and Indians are showing a great deal of interest in Joaquin Benoit, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Once Balfour and Benoit are spoken for, Fernando Rodney may be the next-best thing left among relief pitchers. Those making up the remainder have some kind of blemish, be it inconsistency, age, or an injury history.

Balfour spent the last three seasons with the Athletics, racking up 64 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 199.1 innings of work. He will turn 36 years old on December 30.

  1. mmeyer3387 - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    The Orioles seem to be in a weak spot, which may force them to over pay. The smarter move may have been to hold on to Jim Johnson until a replacement could be found in either the free agent or trade market.

    • djpostl - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:16 AM

      Much smarter move would have been to keep Johnson. They’ll end up paying 10M per year to whomever they keep, someone that is likely to want a 3 year deal at that.

      If they kept Johnson he would have racked up another 40+ saves and been worth a qualifying offer after next season, leading to either a cost-controlled 1 year deal or someone’s draft pick.

      • xsherr - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        JJ would get another 40+ saves easily; however, he would also have way too many blown saves. Our extra inning magic could only last for so long.

  2. gametime19 - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    JJ added too much drama in the ninth. He gave up 72 hits over 70 innings. Balfour gave up 48 over 62 innings.

  3. gametime19 - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    O’s fans lost confidence in Johnson. He blew a 3 run lead in game 1 of the playoffs vs the Yankees last season. He is a great pitcher and to his defense, the Orioles played in more close games than any other team.

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