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O's land Danys Baez

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It's off the record, and pending a physical, of course.

But the Sun says it is a done deal:

The Orioles have struck out to this point in adding a slugger to the middle of their lineup, but they are having no such problems in overhauling their bullpen. According to club sources, the Orioles have agreed in principal to a three-year deal with Atlanta Braves free-agent reliever Danys Baez, who will join recent acquisition Jamie Walker as one of Chris Ray's primary set-up men.

Baez's deal hinges on the right-hander passing a physical, which could happen as early as Monday. Though exact terms of the deal aren't known, it is believed the Orioles will pay between $5 million and $6 million per season for the 29-year-old pitcher, who has 111 saves in six big league seasons.

Reached Sunday night, Orioles vice president Jim Duquette acknowledged that the club had made an offer to Greg Genske, Baez's agent, but wouldn't confirm that a deal had been finalized.

Baez, 5-6 last year with nine saves and a 4.53 ERA while pitching for the Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers, was reportedly seeking an opportunity to be a closer, a role he held with the Cleveland Indians in 2003 and with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004 and 2005.

UPDATE, Monday 6:50pm: It's official. Baez passed his physical this afternoon, and signed for 3 years, $19M. He's also saying all the right things:

"No. 1, I wanted to play for a team in the American League," Baez said Monday at Camden Yards. "I also wanted to be back on the East Coast. And they gave me a very good deal."

The 29-year-old Baez received $4 million last season.

Baez was an All-Star with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005, when he had 41 saves and a 2.86 ERA. Baez will be a setup man with the Orioles, who are committed to Chris Ray as their stopper.

"I want to be a closer, no question," Baez said. "But I'm very happy to be here. You go to a team, you never know what's going to happen. I just want to help them win."

....Baez certainly has the experience to pitch the ninth inning, but knows Ray does, too. Ray had 33 saves in 38 opportunities in 2006, his first full season as a closer.

"Chris Ray did a great job here and deserves to be a closer," Baez said.