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Reports: Baltimore Orioles Ink Closer Grant Balfour to Two Year Deal

December 17th, 2013 at 2:47 PM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles have finally made a free agent move worth noting as they have reportedly agreed to terms with closer Grant Balfour on a two year deal.

'Grant Balfour' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Balfour's two-year deal is worth $15 million guaranteed, with an annual salary of $7 million and $500,000 deferred each year. The contract is pending a physical, which all signings are.

MASN's Roch Kubatko first reported the signing via Twitter and you can view his report here. Our sources have also confirmed the report.

Orioles' fans have been pretty frustrated with the front office staff ever since the trading of Jim Johnson, which was essentially a salary dump, but Baltimore has finally replaced Johnson with the signing of Balfour.

This has been a move that has been surrounding the Orioles for quite some time and now it seems to finally be complete. Rumors were that Balfour was holding out for a three year deal, but it appears that Baltimore was able to get him at two.

He has been dependable throughout his career as he has posted a career  ERA of 3.27 with 72 saves and a 1.186 WHIP.

Over the last five years, Balfour has had just one season where his ERA was over 2.59 and over the past two seasons he has converted 62 of 67 save opportunities. He has pitched in the AL East before during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays which included two seasons with an ERA below 2.30, including his 2008 campaign that saw him post a career low 1.54 ERA.

This signing shores up the closer's role in the Orioles bullpen, and for the time being, gives Orioles' fans something to be happy about.

Incase you were wondering, Balfour has allowed just one home run over 18 1/3 innings at Camden Yards.


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Grant Balfour, Jim Johnson, MLB

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