The Orioles are rumored to be close to signing a deal with Grant Balfour to be the Orioles closer for 2014 and maybe more. If you're following the madness that is Twitter right now you may have seen reports that he is signed, but that is not yet the case.
My first instinct is that it seems odd to go after a player like Balfour when the Orioles just traded Jim Johnson because he makes too much money. If Balfour signs for less than what Johnson will earn in arbitration, it won't be much less. As this train of thought began to surface on Twitter, your trusty beat writers came back with some rationale:
#orioles didn't wanna give Jim Johnson $10-$11 million next season. Balfour works cause could get for 2 years at lower AAV.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 10, 2013
The #Orioles will explore a multi-year deal w Balfour to lessen the $ per yr, something they briefly looked at w/ Jim Johnson. No offer yet.— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) December 10, 2013
Meanwhile, Eddie Encina from the Baltimore Sun is pushing that the Orioles are pursing John Axford, and has this to say about a possible Balfour deal:
If serious interest in Balfour is real, #Orioles must explain definition of "reallocation of resources." Still spending lots of $ on closer.— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) December 10, 2013
Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles are the leaders to get Balfour and that an offer is likely to come today. If it does and Balfour does become an Oriole, that seems like an interesting (and in my opinion, bad) way to spend some of the O's limited resources. But we'll have to wait and see 1) if a deal happens, and 2) what the terms are.
I'm sitting home today due to the snow so I'll keep you updated as soon as I hear something.
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